Stevie Wonder began playing the harmonica at an early age and was signed to a long-term contract with Motown Records in 1960. In 1963 he released his first album, Little Stevie Wonder: The 12 Year Old Genius, and its single release ‘Fingertips – Pt. 2’ became his first million seller. During the 1960s, while attending the Michigan School for the Blind, he had many hit records in the classic Motown rhythm-and-blues style. On his 21st birthday, he renegotiated his contract and gained full artistic control over his work.
Throughout the 1970s he became proficient in the use of synthesizers and electronic keyboards, and he released a series of innovative, commercially successful albums featuring a fusion of progressive rock and soul, biting social commentary, and sentimental ballads. He signed a contract with Motown (1976) for $13 million, the largest negotiated in recording history at that date. In the 1980s and 1990s he was increasingly engaged in children’s and civil- rights causes, and he led the campaign to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday. He was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. A Time to Love, Wonder’s first new album in ten years, was released in 2005 and featured the hit single “So What the Fuss” with Prince and En Vogue.