Here are Stevie Wonder's 12 most famous songs of all time on his 70th birthday

Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 12:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 1:24 pm

Legendary singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer Stevie Wonder turns 70 on 13 May.

Born Stevland Hardaway Morris on 13 May 1950, Wonder would go on to become one of the most successful songwriters and musicians in the history of music.

Going blind shortly after his birth, Wonder signed his first record deal with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11.

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His first chart topping hit came in 1963, when ‘Fingertips’ topped the Billboard Hot 100 when he was just 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart.

Wonder has sold over 100 million records worldwide, won 25 Grammy Awards and was the first Motown artist and second African-American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, for the 1984 film The Woman in Red.

The accolades kept coming, and Wonder has been inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Here are 12 of the legendary musicians best songs as he celebrates his big birthday:

(click on each to be taken to YouTube, where you can listen to each track for yourself)

Taken from Wonder’s 1976 album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’, this track reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100, and featured as the theme tune to the BBC's coverage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Wonder’s 1965 was the first of his hits to be co-written by the artist, peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in early 1966.

The song was such a success, that an accompanying album was rushed into production to capitalise on the single, which garnered Wonder’s first two Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance.

This 1973 single was taken from Wonder’s ‘Innervisions’ album, and reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

It was one of the first soul music songs to deal explicitly with systemic racism, and also used everyday sounds of the street like traffic, voices and sirens in its recording.

The song won two Grammy Awards: one for Best Rhythm & Blues Song, and the second for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Released in 1976 as a single and included on the album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’, ‘I Wish’ focuses lyrically on Wonder’s childhood from the 1950s into the early 1960s, and about how he longed to go back and relive it.

The single hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

1973’s ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ was Wonder's third number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and won the artist a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, while also being nominated for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

This ballad remains Wonder's best-selling single to date, and is Wonder's only solo UK number-one success, staying at the top for six weeks.

The lead single from the 1984 soundtrack album The Woman in Red – along with two other songs by Wonder – the song won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)’ spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart when it was first released in 1970, and was the first single Wonder produced on his own.

The song gave Wonder his sixth Grammy nomination (though he missed out that year to the Clarence Carter song ‘Patches’).

According to Wonder, the song title and chorus came from his mother Lula, who exclaimed the words after listening to her son experiment with the melody.

Written about the birth of his daughter, Aisha Morris, ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ starts with a baby's first cry recorded during an actual childbirth, with a recording of Wonder bathing Aisha as a toddler brought in the final section of the song.

The track was initially not released as a single, as Wonder was unwilling to shorten the six-minute song. However, record label Tamla compromised due to public demand in late 1976, and the edited version received so much airplay it reached number 23 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Wonder performed the song live for Queen Elizabeth II at her Diamond Jubilee Concert in 2012, with modified lyrics referring to her.

‘For Once in My Life’ was originally written and recorded in 1965 by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden for Motown Records as a slow balled that would see versions released by The Four Tops, The Temptations and Diana Ross among others.

But the most successful version of the song would come three years later, when Wonder released an uptempo take on the track, that was a top-three hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Wonder’s funk song ‘Higher Ground’  first appeared on his 1973 album ‘Innervisions’, and reached number 1 on the US Hot R&B Singles chart.

The track was reportedly written and recorded by Wonder in a three-hour burst of creativity in May 1973, with – like on so many of his hits – Wonder playing all instruments, including drums and percussion.

A tribute to Duke Ellington, the influential jazz legend who died in 1974, ‘Sir Duke’ reached number two in the UK Singles Chart, his joint biggest hit here at the time.

Released on October 1972 as the lead single from his fifteenth studio album, the lyrics on one of Wonder’s most famous tracks describe popular superstitions and their negative effects.

Surprisingly, ‘Superstition’ only peaked at number eleven in the UK Singles Chart in February 1973.