Stevie Wonder is a 25-time Grammy Award winner. He is also an Oscar winner. He has sold more than 70 million LPs (Long Playing also called album), ranking alongside the Beatles and Elvis Presley in having the most Top 10 records.
All of these feats wouldn’t have been chalked but for a visionary female teacher.
Author David Noonan, in his ‘Aesop & the CEO; Powerful Business Insights from Aesop’s Ancient Fables’ book, submits that Wonder, while in a Detroit classroom of Mrs. Beneduci, was asked to solve a problem which would later inspire him on to greatness.
Noonan continues that a mouse scampered across the classroom floor and disappeared. Causing a ruckus but staying hidden, Mrs. Beneduci asked Wonder to locate the critter despite being blind.
Having lost his sight from birth, Wonder’s hearing was acute so with the class being quiet, he listened for the mouse and pointed toward the waste basket where the mouse was hiding.
Born Stevie Morse, the boy who became Stevie Wonder will reference his teacher’s act of appreciation as a turning point in his life. The event was perhaps the first time somebody had appreciated his heightened sense of hearing in the midst of the darkness.
The story ties in with American philosopher John Dewey’s observation that the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important,” reflecting a need for workers to be complimented on their talents and value.
Blind from birth, Wonder was a child prodigy and became a skilled musician by the age of eight. His 25 Grammy Awards is the most ever won by a solo artist. He is considered to be among the bestselling artists of all time. Wonder’s net worth is, at the moment, $110 million.
Wonder is a musician, singer and songwriter but also a multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter. Wonder has another person to thank for his music success – Berry Gordy III, the founder of the Motown record label and its subsidiaries.
The American record executive, songwriter, film producer and television producer believed in the musical gift of Wonder and signed him to Motown Records at the age of 11.
Wonder went on to land 30 #1 hits including “Superstition,” “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” “Sir Duke”, and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”
Born on May 13, 1950, in Saginaw, Michigan, U.S., Wonder is a notable presence in the R&B and popular music scene.
His album, Inversions, won him his first five Grammy awards in 1973. He is the Soul Music Hall of Fame inductee.
Wonder is married to Tomeeka Robyn Bracy; they share two children together. His previous marriage was to Syreeta Wright from 1970-1972.
He and his second wife, Karen “Kai” Millard Morris, divorced in 2015 after 14 years of marriage. The 69-year-old has nine children from three women.