Stevie Wonder sampler on JamBaseRhapsody! Give this Stevie Wonder sampler a listen, it is sure to help brighten up your day. Here are some facts on Stevie to share with you that I gleaned from AllMusic.

Stevie Wonder is one of the greatest contributions to music, an indisputable blind genius. His heightened awareness of sound helped him create vibrant, colorful music teeming with life and ambition. Nearly everything he recorded bore the stamp of his sunny, joyous positivity; even when he addressed serious racial, social, and spiritual issues or sang about heartbreak and romantic uncertainty, an underlying sense of optimism and hope always seemed to emerge. Much like his inspiration, Ray Charles, Wonder had a voracious appetite for many different kinds of music, and refused to confine himself to any one sound or style. His best records were a richly eclectic brew of soul, funk, rock & roll, jazz, reggae, and African elements.

His most prominent works were Fulfillingness' First Finale, Talking Book, Innervisions, and Songs in the Key of Life. Innervisions is a concept album about the state of contemporary society that ranks with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On as a pinnacle of socially conscious R&B. The ghetto chronicle "Living for the City" and the intense spiritual self-examination "Higher Ground" both went to number one on the R&B and pop charts, and Innervisions took home a Grammy for Album of the Year. Wonder was lucky to be alive to enjoy the success; while being driven to a concert in North Carolina, a large timber fell on Wonder's car. He sustained serious head injuries and lapsed into a coma, but fortunately made a full recovery. I did not know that.

After those classic albums, for the next two years, Wonder retired to his studio and created his masterpiece, Songs in the Key of Life, a sprawling two-LP-plus-one-EP set that found Wonder at his most ambitious and expansive. Some critics called it brilliant but prone to excess and indulgence, while others hailed it as his greatest masterpiece and the culmination of his career; in the end, they were probably both right. Stevie Wonder was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and remains a living legend. Check out his 23 albums on JamBaseRhapsody. - TK

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