By Tenley Williams
A biography of the blind composer, pianist, and singer whose musical skill, obvious considering that youth, has earned him many awards.
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Additional info for Stevie Wonder (Overcoming Adversity)
He also used many of these new production techniques on the album Syreeta. Before releasing Music of My Mind, Stevie decided to sign another contract with Motown. In a music-industry first, Berry Gordy agreed to some surprising terms. Stevie would record at Taurus Productions and Motown would market his work. Profits would be split evenly. Stevie 39 40 STEVIE WONDER would be free to record his own music his own way. After signing the new contract, Stevie celebrated by releasing Where I’m Coming From in April 1971.
Stevie accepted the Oscar in the name of Nelson Mandela, the black South African civil rights leader and Johannesburg lawyer. Mandela had been sentenced to life in prison in 1964 on charges that he had conspired to overthrow the government. The South African government’s apartheid policies, which segregated blacks and other races from whites, brought contempt and trade bans from the United States and other nations. In retaliation for Stevie’s political action, the South African government banned Stevie’s music in the country.
Rock critic Clayton Riley reviewed Innervisions on October 21, 1973, in the New York Times. His article reflects the recognition that something in Stevie’s music reaches beyond the pleasing pop melodies. Stevie was making a place for himself in the struggle to give young black Americans a political, as well as a musical, voice: The cut called “He’s Mistra Know-It-All” bears solid witness [that] Stevie must feel the political climate around him when he sings: “He’s a man/With a plan/Got a counterfeit dollar in hand .