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Words About Wonder

Stevie Wonder has had much praise heaped upon him, from individuals of all walks of life, over the years. To truly appreciate the impact of Stevie Wonder on the world of music and humanity, a collection of quotes from esteemed personalities are presented below.
Herbie Hancock He is the best example of what a human being can be.
I felt so proud to be on such a landmark record (Songs in the Key of Life). There was nothing like that before, nothing.
Barack Obama Responding to a Rolling Stone interview question that asked him who his musical heroes are: If I had one, it would have to be Stevie Wonder. When I was just at that point where you start getting involved in music, Stevie Wonder had that run with Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Innervisions, and then Songs in the Key of Life. Those are as brilliant a set of five albums as we've ever seen.

I think it's fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. The fact that we agreed on Stevie was part of the essence of our courtship.
Bill Clinton Tonight we honor the prodigy who became a prophet (Honouring Stevie at the Kennedy Centre Awards 1999)
Quincy Jones He is a profoundly creative person and a profound human being too. You match those two things together you have such a giving person.
Berry Gordy He excelled in every field, it wasn't just his writing. But it was his producing that was unique, sound that was unique and his chord structure that people are still trying to figure out today.
Paul Simon Can anyone imagine what the last twenty-five years of American popular music would be without Stevie Wonder? He is the composer of his generation.
(1989 Induction of Stevie Wonder into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)
Smokey Robinson Stevie Wonder is one of the most prolific songwriters of this millennium and many millenniums to come.
Bob Dylan If anybody can be called a genius, Stevie Wonder can be. I think it has something to do with his ear, not being able to see or whatever. I go back with him to about the early Sixties, when he was playing at the Apollo with all that Motown stuff. If nothing else, he played the harmonica incredible, I mean truly incredible. Never knew what to think of him really until he cut "Blowin' in the Wind." That really blew my mind, and I figured I'd better pay attention. I was glad when he did that Rolling Stones tour, cuz it opened up his scene to a whole new crowd of people, which I'm sure has stuck with him over the years. I love everything he does. It's hard not to. He can do gut-bucket funky stuff really country and then turn around and do modern-progressive whatever you call it. In fact, he might have invented that. He is a great mimic, can imitate anybody, doesn't take himself seriously and is a true roadhouse musician all the way, with classical overtones, and he does it all with drama and style. I'd like to hear him play with an orchestra. He should probably have his own orchestra.
(February 9, 1989 at Stevie's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
Dave Stewart It was amazing, because everyone was just queuing up to sit down at his feet. He was like this amazing presence.
(Commenting on a party held after the 1999 Brit awards)
Babyface You are my inspiration, you are my musical guru, and you are the greatest songwriter of all time.

It’s amazing when you look at his career and the songs he has written. It's like the Beatles, but with Stevie it’s just one guy.
Eric Clapton Stevie Wonder has to be the greatest drummer of our time. After attending 1974 London concert
Michel Obama The very first album of my whole life was 'Talking Book'. I played it over and over and over again, until 'Songs In The Key Of Life' and then I played that over and over and over again. Wonder's songs talked about unity and love and peace. His songs are impacting and push you to think about how you could affect the world. Stevie all the way
Elvis Costello He's the most influential musician alive. Every bad singer on American Idol tries to sound like him, and fails miserably. It would be an inspiring thing for him to be the musical laureate of America. Because he is anyway.

Stevie Wonder was a harmonica protégé making instrumental records, then he's a great singer at 13 and then he makes 'Music of the Mind' and 'Innervisions' -- it's unbelievable! These are the kind of leaps, any time you feel yourself hemmed in, you just gotta look to the best stuff and hope that you've got the inspiration to go even a little bit to where they've managed. Nobody can make a record as good as Stevie Wonder made in those days. I don't think so, anyway; nobody can make a leap like that now.
Michael Bolton If God had to choose one voice on earth in the history of mankind to speak for him, it would be the voice of Stevie Wonder.
Annie Lennox Stevie Wonder you're the king of kings

What really blows my mind is the fact that we performed with Stevie - that's much more important to me than any award (Speaking after receiving the Brit Award , 1999)
Luciano Pavarotti We listen to him, we enjoy his music because we are in front of a great, a great genius of music. Thank you for being here, thank you very much. (Speaking prior to Stevie's performance at the Children of Liberia Charity Concert, 1998)
Santana We respectfully dedicate our music to Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali (Extract from Liner notes of 1977 Festival Album)
Pharrell Williams Stevie Wonder was a fixture in my life as a child. His music is probably the closest thing to auditory transcendence. His brilliance for paralleling the harmony of sounds and the way that red, orange and yellow are tri-tonal - I don't know that there's anyone else that's done it as many times as he has. He's a huge genius. He's a master of that.
Mark Ronson The greatest musical moment of my life and might never be topped is that Stevie Wonder played harmonica on the intro to the album. It's probably the peak musical highlight of my life, and I'm fine if I never top it. He is my favorite musician/songwriter/singer of all time. If I stop to think of it too much that he’s playing on a record my head will explode because a single song of his can bring me to tears.
Shania Twain My dream was to be Stevie wonder's backup singer. That was my wish as a child, that’s what I wanted to be. I'd still be his back up singer if he'd take me.
Jon Anderson (Yes) Somebody sent me an album of Stevie Wonder’s. It was 'The Secret Life Of Plants,' and I put it on and, honestly – I’ve never told anyone this – but I sat down and cried. And I’m thinking about crying now. It was like, ‘Oh god. Somebody thinks and makes music correctly – in the way that music should be, and it’s part of your experience, part of your life’s challenge.' It was like, 'Go for it.' And he did. People didn’t quite understand that album, but to me, it was life-saving. It was very, very special.
Gregory Porter Stevie has a supernatural insight into emotion and nature. His music was the fabric of my childhood, and now we’re friends, which is surreal.
John Swenson He is one of the prime reasons that the synthesizer and electronic keyboards in general became widely used in all pop music (American Writer and Journalist)
George Jackson His Clarity of purpose and his ability to inspire and extract all that’s good out of a crazy world is just amazing. (Former President of Motown Records)
Bonnie Rait Because it was Stevie Wonder, all that synthesizer stuff was really cool. He was God to me.
Coretta Scott-King I offer my heartfelt personal appreciations for your friendship as well as your luminous artistry, and radiant spirit of love you bring through all your good works.
Michael Douglas We have grown up singing his songs. In any country in any language he's a celebration. He's America's ambassador of music.
Aretha Franklin He'd Just Work those synthesizers so beautifully the songs were so right and they all had the right Groove from cut to cut.
Halle Berry It’s not easy being a black man in America. But what you've done with your gifts and your talents, have so inspired me to achieve my dreams.

It’s amazing, Stevie is not able to see with his eyes but he can see far more than anyone of us. Stevie sees with his heart. His vision is full of love promise, togetherness, peace and unity.
Marvin Gaye I hated it when he came out before me, because he had twice the energy of all of us combined. He drained our fans dry.
Anita Baker ... he has written and performed some of the most memorable music of our time. But more importantly he has been a source of inspiration as a person who cares equally about his fellow man as he does about his music.
Boy George The incredible voice more than anything, it’s a magical voice. I think that is what he would be remembered for.
Mel C
(Spice Girls)
I think Stevie Wonder was a big one. That's the only time me and Emma have been speechless. In the picture of when we met him, our mouths were just open, it was like, oh my God! It was somewhere in Italy at a big concert. (On being asked which famous person she was most pleased to meet.)
Gloria Estefan Stevie you're not only one of the most amazing artistic treasures in our world but you're an incredible human being!
Glen Hughes On being asked What music inspired you? Stevie, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie and Otis, Otis, Otis, Otis and Marvin, Marvin, Marvin, Marvin. I was very lucky in 1974 to meet Stevie Wonder in The Record Plant Los Angeles when Deep Purple were making "Stormbringer." I fan-boyed him a little bit, but he was so kind and generous, I invited him into the studio… So Stevie Wonder has been my mentor since 1974, both professionally and personally. Not just for the way he sings, but the way he conducts his life with his family and fans. I love him to pieces.
Adam Levine
(Maroon 5)
I think there's a stigma attached to Stevie Wonder, as far as him being the guy that wrote "I Just Called To Say I Love You." Being a child of the '80s--or late '80s--that's all I had really thought of him. I didn't really know he had all these classic records, and when I started listening to songs like "Sir Duke," "I Wish" and "I Believe," it really just changed my whole life as a singer, songwriter and musician.

He is the all-encompassing idol. Musically he's one of my favourites in the world. As a human being he's one of the best people to walk the earth. He's just an incredible person and I really worship him for that.
George Benson He’s one of the great geniuses of our time. You know, whatever he does, his playing as a pianist is innovative, warm, romantic and funky.
His voice is unbelievable. He’s got power, even though sometimes he sings very soft, the power never leaves either in the way he approaches things, his phrasing, or in the lyrics that he’s writing to go along with those incredible melodies that he puts together. He’s slow in getting things done, but that’s why his stuff is always so good, ’cause he thoroughly thinks things out. He doesn’t throw music together. So I learned a lot just from hanging out with him.
Marilyn Bergman Stevie is a consummate songwriter and musician whose art and life reflect a generosity of spirit coupled with a desire for social justice and peace. He is a uniquely gifted music creator and human being and we are privileged to honor him and have so many distinguished performers on hand to celebrate him with their own versions of his timeless songs. (ASCAP President and Chairman 1994-2009)
Peter Frampton I went up to Stevie Wonder and said, 'It's been a pleasure to meet you. It's been a long time since I started listening to you. Maybe it would be nice to get together and play one day.' And he said, 'Yeah, great.' As I was walking away, he said, 'You don't play a bad bag yourself.' And I said, 'Well, you know who I learned from, don't you?' He went, 'Yeah, I know.' It was just lovely.
There’s no one better than Stevie Wonder as a musician, and he’s a wonderful person.
Elton John Let me put it this way: wherever I go in the world, I always take a copy of Songs in the Key of Life. For me, it's the best album ever made, and I'm always left in awe after I listen to it. When people in decades and centuries to come talk about the history of music, they will talk about Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. He evolved into an amazing songwriter and a genuine musical force of nature.
He's so multi-talented that it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes him one of the greatest ever. Nobody can sing like he does. As a keyboard player, I've played with him over the years, and he never ceases to amaze me, the stuff he comes up with. He can play anything. I think I'm a pretty good musician, but he's in a whole other league.
In the Seventies, he hit a run of albums that's unsurpassed in music history, from Talking Book to Songs in the Key of Life.
Stevie is an amazingly positive, peaceful man. When you ask him to do something, he is generous. He loves music. He loves to play. When he comes into a room, people adore him. And there aren't many artists like that. He tries to use his music to do good. His message, I think, is about love, and in the world we live in today, that message does shine through.

You are great influence on us musicians, who eat humble pie in your presence.

To me you are the king. Thank you for the music. Thank you for the love. Thank you from heaven above.
Ray Kurzweil With Stevie Wonder as our musical advisor, we set out to combine these two (electronic and acoustic) worlds of music.
Sting Thank you Stevie. You are my teacher, my guru, my inspiration, you're a higher being and I love you.
And when he walks into a room, it’s like a higher being. He’s a powerful, spiritual entity
Brian McKnight I would not be what I am if it were not for Stevie Wonder
Sir Christopher Meyer Wonder's virtuosity made Elton John sound like a pub pianist (British Ambassador to the United States after witnessing Elton John and Stevie Wonder perform at the White House, 2002)
Mariah Carey Stevie Wonder is one of the most incredible singer songwriters in history and one of the most beautiful spirits in the entire world.
Paul McCartney We Love you Stevie, Baby (Braille message to Stevie on Paul's 1973 Red Rose Speedway album)

Stevie came along to the studio in LA and he listened to the track for about ten minutes and he totally got it. He just went to the mic and within 20 minutes had nailed this dynamite solo. When you listen you just think, 'How do you come up with that?' But it's just because he is a genius, that's why. (Speaking on Stevie's harmonica solo on the song 'Only Our Hearts', 2012)
Paul McCartney Out of all the ones I’ve worked with, it would be fellow Beatles. It would be John, who was pretty cool, and George and Ringo. And then I think Stevie Wonder. You gotta go to Stevie. He was just a musical monster. He’s fantastic.
George Harrison Personally, I think Indian music is where it’s at. There isn’t too much going on in Pop that I seem to like. When the Beatles started off, our influences were Tamla-Motown and Chuck Berry, and that’s the music I still like. My favourites are Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder. Otherwise, George Benson and, of course, anything Dylan does is worth a listen.
Freddie Mercury I don’t want to change the world with our music. There are no hidden messages in our songs, except for some of Brian’s. My songs are like Bic razors; they’re for fun, for modern consumption. People can discard them like a used tissue afterwards. They can listen to it, like it, discard it, then turn on to the next. Disposable pop. I don’t like to write message songs because I’m not politically motivated – like John Lennon or Stevie Wonder.
Lenny Kravitz Stevie Wonder really hit me when I was eight years old. I was hearing the production, all the different instruments. I knew all the parts on this album. I could hum you the Fender piano part, the mini Moog part, the drums – everything! It was so musical, so soulful and it also had a very spiritual feeling.
Justin Timberlake You've been a tremendous influence on my life, as an artist, songwwriter and producer.
Chick Corea Stevie I consider to be one of the most important musicians who ever hit planet earth. His music contains a human rights message because it goes above any kind of religion or philosophy. It's a thing all of humanity can get behind. I consider him a guiding light.
Rev Al Sharpton He single-handedly got the whole nation to talk about Martin Luther King's birthday. When Stevie came out with that song (Happy Birthday) he changed the whole mood of America. He gave us the first federal holiday for a person of color in this country.
Eliza Doolittle Stevie Wonder is definitely my number one favourite artist, I just feel like he can’t do any wrong. He just is amazing and I would love to write a song with him or just have a lesson from him about anything. That would make my life.
Yolanda Adams He inspired me to be a better artist. There are a lot of people who do one thing but they don't do everything. This man can do everything.
Phylicia Rashad Stevie Wonder means good music. Good music all the way through life
Kanye West I’m not trying to compete with what’s out there now. I’m really trying to compete with Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. It sounds musically blasphemous to say something like that, but why not set that as your bar?
LL Cool J Stevie Wonder is an icon who forever changed the world of music with his extraordinary gifts, pure talent, kind spirit and incredible sense of humor.
Leonardo DiCaprio Stevie Wonder is my favourite artist of all time and one of my country's national treasures
Michael Bolton Singing along with Stevie changed everything for me. It gave me a more flexible voice, challenged my range. That’s one of the greatest ranges in popular music, in the history of music.
Josh Groban Stevie Wonder writes these universally epic melodies that are a bit genre-less. He's genre-less. Nobody writes about love better than Stevie Wonder.
Hunter Hayes It's amazing because you look at a guy who has helped shape music, and shaped the future of music and redefined music in a lot of his own ways, and then he walks into a room and the guy is warm and friendly. He is such an ambassador for good. And his message comes across. He is one of those people who leads by example. I was so inspired.
Gene Hoglan One of my favourite things is the album Innervisions by Stevie Wonder. Because it is an amazing album from the melodic stand point. Musically it is such an incredible tale from top to bottom. The thing that I like most about it are the drums, I'm a drummer. Stevie Wonder plays the drums on this album and the drums on it are really incredible its one of my favourite drum albums of all time. I think the reason why Stevie probably plays on a lot of his own songs is that he has the inner-vision that maybe he might not be able to relate to a regular human being because I don't think Stevie Wonder is not a human being at all, I think he's a Marshan at the least. I highly suggest everybody check it out. (Gene Hoglan is a Heavy Metal Drummer)
Richie Sambora It is almost beyond words to sing with Stevie. He was the guy that I emulated when I was a boy, and he taught me how to sing. It is an honor to meet your teacher. The first thing I did was whisper in his ear, 'I’m sure you get this a lot, but you were my inspiration as a singer.'
A. R. Rahman (On being asked which artiste inspires him most) Stevie Wonder! He is an amazing person, with the way he lives life. He has taught us so much! He taught me, you don’t need to have all your senses to enjoy life. Do what you have to do to make you happy, express what you want to do, and all the while be a kind human being, even when being on top of your game.
Pharrell Stevie Wonder was a fixture in my life as a child. His music is probably the closest thing to auditory transcendence.
Chance the Rapper I’m a huge fan of Stevie Wonder he is the greatest living artist and he has given amazing work to the world since he was born even with his disadvantages. I’d just like to say he’s amazing.
Jacob Collier Stevie was my number one growing up and kind of still is. Everything I love about music I think he represents on some level.
Noa (Israeli Singer/Songwriter) I was invited to perform with Stevie. I learned a whole bunch of Stevie Wonder songs in preparation but he said, “No no no, I know my songs, but I don’t know yours and neither do most people. So you sing me something and I’ll accompany you.” And that’s what happened. Every time I think about how amazing that was I think when an artist is truly, truly great, they are also able to shine their light on others, not only on themselves. When their talent is so big, that’s when their egos become smaller. That was an amazing lesson in life for me!
John McEnroe I Love Stevie Wonder and Stevie Wonder is one of the magnificient musicians and talents in the history of music and he opened my eyes and ears to a whole different sort of type of music and so it got me going and thinking wow there's a whole lot more to music than I know.
Bill Champlain (from the band Chicago) Anything Stevie does is just gold to me. What I love about what he does is that it really all just sounds so joyous, and that’s an amazing effect to have as a songwriter. That’s why I never even thought about copying Stevie. He remains such a good singer and player, and that’s because he is one big learning machine. If you listen to his playing in the early albums like Talking Book and Innervisions and hear it now you just say: ‘Wow.’ He is a ridiculously talented player.
James Blake Stevie Wonder invented music as far as I’m concerned.
Jeff Goldblum I wore out my record copy of this song (For Once in My Life) from playing it over and over again. I was just crazy about it. Stevie Wonder is an all-time hero of mine, and in fact I've come to meet him in the last year. When we were recording our album at the Capitol Records Building, he his wife popped in and said hello. He's just a magical superhero in the world, I do believe.
Tank (American Singer/Actor) He is a master of weaving stories through his melodies, lyrics, voice, and piano, I literally feel lucky that I was able to love him and his music so long. I can truly say that I was a child of one of the best eras in music when the world created Stevie Wonder, and how wonderful it is.
Frédéric Yonnet You know, he is a magnified version of what you’d imagine him to be. Stevie is everything you would expect times one thousand. Extremely generous, very graceful, very competitive. But you’re overwhelmed with his generosity and kindness.
Bette Midler In five minutes, #StevieWonder will be 70 years young. Congratulations to a #NationalTreasure, and thank you for lighting up our lives for all these years. You are one of a kind, young man.
Paul Weller Every song (on Innervisions) could be a stand-alone track. We all know how brilliant he is anyway, but, he’s probably at the height of his powers with this album.
Nick Cannon Stevie Wonder is the closest thing to God on this planet when it comes to his level of talent and what he’s done for this world and how his spirit resonates. To be able to be in the studio with him and sit next to him is probably one of the greatest things that I’ve ever experienced in music.
Cat Stevens Stevie is one of my favourite artists, and he turned everything around when he came out of his shell. He did something musically that was incomparable.
Robert Margouleff (Record Engineer) Stevie is a genius. He is one of the greatest living songwriters of our generation, no question. He may be the greatest ever. God might have taken his sight, but he put his thumb on his forehead because Stevie is full of music.
D'Angelo The thing about Stevie Wonder was that he brought these vocal mechanics into the squall that other motherfuckers just couldn’t do.
Jack Garratt Stevie Wonder was one of the first artist I really listened to as a kid where I felt there was some kind of awakening in my soul, even though I was too young to understand what the word awakening meant. I remember being so impressed by his music and not understanding why I was so impressed by it. He played all of those instruments himself. He was the first bedroom producer.
Dave Koz The first take that he did was absolutely perfect. We all knew in the studio that that was it, that was the take. But because he's a perfectionist; because he's Stevie Wonder, he was doing a favor for someone else's album, he wasn't getting paid or anything, he had to just by the nature of who he is, had to strive to make sure he had given his best. It really taught me a great lesson about why are these people so famous, why are they so iconic? It's because they're 100% dedicated to their craft, and anytime they show up to do it, they are always striving for excellence. It's a great lesson to learn and you see somebody who's that established, someone as legendary and still is not floating or skating by, it's a great thing to learn.
Pixie Lott Stevie Winder I just love him and he started really young. I just love his melodies and his whole vibe. He's been around a long time and he's a living legend. When I met him my eyes welled up I was like, I just think he is a special human.