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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
12 July 2021, 13:15
Stevie Wonder wowed crowds at New York’s Apollo Theatre with his first number one single, Fingertips.
We know Stevie Wonder as one of the most successful songwriters in history.
And music has been part of his life from a very young age, as an unearthed video sees him playing an amazing rendition of ‘Fingertips’ at just 13 years old.
The clip, from 1963, shows Wonder performing on the bongos and harmonica, before breaking into song in front of crowds at New York’s Apollo Theatre.
When he was just four years old, Wonder sang as part of his church choir in Detroit, Michigan, before he started busking at the age of ten.
Little Stevie Wonder - 1963 Fingertips Part II
He taught himself an impressive range of instruments, including the harmonica, piano and drums.
A year later, Wonder auditioned for Motown Records at the age of 11, and founder Berry Gordy later said he was "speechless".
After changing his stage name to ‘Little Stevie Wonder’, his first single ‘Fingertips’ was a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
This made him the youngest artist ever to top the chart in 1963.
Over the next decade, Wonder continued to have huge success in the pop and R&B charts with tracks including ‘Superstition,’ ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ and ‘Higher Ground.’
With his career spanning across half a century, he continued to write music in the 1980s, with hits ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ and ‘Part-Time Lover.’
Throughout his amazing career, Wonder has sold 100 million records and ten number ones.
Over the years, other artists have continued to cover his hits including Aretha Franklin, who had a No. 1 with her R&B cover of ‘Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do).’