Legendary American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer Steveland Hardaway Morris, aka Stevie Wonder, born 13 May 1950, has been blind since infancy after, it’s believed, he received excessive oxygen in his incubator leading to retinopathy of prematurity.
Wonder found his way in the world through music, teaching himself how to play the piano, harmonica and drums before he was 10, despite the trials and tribulations of an impoverished upbringing and an alcoholic father. Recognising his extraordinary talent, he was signed by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr at the age of 12 and continues to record for the label to this day.
An iconic figure in popular music for the past 60+ years, Wonder has recorded more than 30 US top-10 hits and won an incredible 22 Grammy Awards, the most ever won by a solo artist. He’s also been inducted into both the Rock & Roll and Songwriters’ Halls of Fame.
As for whether his lack of sight has affected his music, he told The New York Times in 1975, “It's played a part in that I'm able to use my imagination to go places, to write words about things I've heard people talk about. In music and in being blind, I'm able to associate what people say with what's inside me.”