Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder

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9780470481509: Signed, Sealed, and Delivered: The Soulful Journey of Stevie Wonder
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The first definitive biography of music legend Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder's achievements as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer are extraordinary. During a career that has spanned almost fifty years, he has earned more than thirty Top 10 hits, twenty-six Grammy Awards, and a place in both the Rock and Roll and Songwriter Halls of Fame—and he's not finished yet. On the verge of turning sixty, he is still composing, still touring, and still attracting dedicated fans around the world.

For the first time, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered takes an in-depth look at Stevie Wonder's life and his evolution from kid-soul pop star into a mature artist whose music helped lay the groundwork for the evolution of hip hop and rap.

  • Explores the life, achievements, and influence of one of America's biggest musical icons, set against the history of Motown and the last fifty years of popular music
  • Based on extensive interviews with Motown producers, music executives, songwriters, and musicians, including founding Temptation Otis Williams, Mickey Stevenson, surviving Funk Brother Eddie Willis, synthesizer genius Malcolm Cecil, guitar legend Michael Sembello, and many others
  • Traces Stevie's personal and musical development through the decades, from the early 1960s R&B of ""Fingertips"" to the social and political themes of ""Living for the City"" and other 1970s classics, through periods of musical and personal confusion, uncertainty, and, later, renewal

Read Signed, Sealed, and Delivered to explore the life and work of one of pop music's most compelling masters of invention.

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From the Inside Flap:

What do you call a performer who stunned the music world at the age of twelve, who had No. 1 hit records before, during, and well after the Beatles were recording, and whose influence has helped shape everything from soul, funk, and hip-hop to disco and smooth jazz? What words do justice to a musical master whose thirty-four top-10 hits and twelve top-10 albums have won a record twenty-two Grammy Awards, and who, after a brilliant fifty-year career, continues to be one of the most dynamic and sought-after performers in the world? Only two words can describe a superstar of that caliber—Stevie Wonder.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered celebrates Stevie's sixtieth birthday with a full-fledged biography of this living, breathing musical genius and legend. Author Mark Ribowsky explores the life, achievements, and influence of one of America's biggest musical icons set against the history of Motown and the last fifty years of popular music.

Drawing on extensive interviews with Motown producers, music executives, songwriters, and musicians, including founding Temptation Otis Williams, Mickey Stevenson, Kim Weston, surviving Funk Brother Eddie Willis, and many others, Ribowsky sorts through conflicting accounts to reveal the truth behind how Stevie found his way to Motown Records at the tender age of eleven, why the name on his first Motown contract was not the one he was born with, and how he became "Little Stevie Wonder."

Ribowsky digs deep into Stevie's long and often strained relationship with Motown founder and control-freak-in-chief Berry Gordy. He reveals how one of Little Stevie's running pranks would exasperate Gordy and delight fellow Motown performers. He provides detailed and fascinating accounts of Motown's inner workings and how Stevie's role there evolved from wunderkind and enfant terrible to good soldier, top star, and major creative force. He also explains what was so remarkable about Stevie's first hit single "Fingertips (Part 2)," why it took more than two years to come up with his second hit, and why Marvin Gaye was booed off the stage following a performance by Stevie.

You'll also discover what Stevie Wonder loved about the Beatles and what he thought they didn't do very well, how he was influenced by Bob Dylan, how Stevie's friendly rivalry with Gaye turned into an important, though indirect, alliance for both, and much more.

Packed with little-known facts and keen insights into Stevie Wonder's musical growth and creative process, his successful collaboration with and failed marriage to Syreeta Wright, and his long struggle with sexual addiction and suicidal depression, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered is essential reading for all Stevie Wonder fans and anyone interested in the history of Motown and the music of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s . . .

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Mark Ribowsky

"A dishy, insider look at Berry Gordy's making of the Supremes . . . Ribowsky nicely intersperses some hindsight reflections by the main players . . . In this engaging, vivacious account, Ribowsky energetically and thoroughly underscores the Supremes' significance as one of the first crossover successes."
Publishers Weekly on The Supremes: A Saga of Motown Dreams, Success, and Betrayal

"Perfect . . . The virtue of Ribowsky's book is that he brings the story down to earth without sacrificing its drama. Relying on frank and extensive interviews . . . Ribowsky spends time on details other writers have taken for granted."
Greil Marcus on He's a Rebel: Phil Spector—Rock and Roll's Legendary Producer

Nobody would argue that Stevie Wonder had an easy start in life. Blinded within weeks of his premature birth, he was raised in stark poverty and abused by a brutish and alcoholic father who later abandoned the family. Through sheer talent, bold ambition, and a fierce desire for independence, he rose from the streets of Detroit to become a Motown prodigy, and from there to become, arguably, the most innovative, versatile, and influential musician, singer, and songwriter of the past fifty years. Signed, Sealed, and Delivered tells the story of Stevie Wonder in fascinating, delightful, and sometimes shocking detail. This powerful biography will have you laughing, crying, grinning, and grooving from beginning to end.

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Book Description Turner Publishing Company, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The first definitive biography of music legend Stevie WonderStevie Wonder's achievements as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer are extraordinary. During a career that has spanned almost fifty years, he has earned more than thirty Top 10 hits, twenty-six Grammy Awards, and a place in both the Rock and Roll and Songwriter Halls of Fame--and he's not finished yet. On the verge of turning sixty, he is still composing, still touring, and still attracting dedicated fans around the world.For the first time, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered takes an in-depth look at Stevie Wonder's life and his evolution from kid-soul pop star into a mature artist whose music helped lay the groundwork for the evolution of hip hop and rap.Explores the life, achievements, and influence of one of America's biggest musical icons, set against the history of Motown and the last fifty years of popular musicBased on extensive interviews with Motown producers, music executives, songwriters, and musicians, including founding Temptation Otis Williams, Mickey Stevenson, surviving Funk Brother Eddie Willis, synthesizer genius Malcolm Cecil, guitar legend Michael Sembello, and many othersTraces Stevie's personal and musical development through the decades, from the early 1960s R&B of "Fingertips" to the social and political themes of "Living for the City" and other 1970s classics, through periods of musical and personal confusion, uncertainty, and, later, renewalRead Signed, Sealed, and Delivered to explore the life and work of one of pop music's most compelling masters of invention. Seller Inventory # AAC9780470481509

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Book Description Turner Publishing Company, United Kingdom, 2010. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The first definitive biography of music legend Stevie WonderStevie Wonder's achievements as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer are extraordinary. During a career that has spanned almost fifty years, he has earned more than thirty Top 10 hits, twenty-six Grammy Awards, and a place in both the Rock and Roll and Songwriter Halls of Fame--and he's not finished yet. On the verge of turning sixty, he is still composing, still touring, and still attracting dedicated fans around the world.For the first time, Signed, Sealed, and Delivered takes an in-depth look at Stevie Wonder's life and his evolution from kid-soul pop star into a mature artist whose music helped lay the groundwork for the evolution of hip hop and rap.Explores the life, achievements, and influence of one of America's biggest musical icons, set against the history of Motown and the last fifty years of popular musicBased on extensive interviews with Motown producers, music executives, songwriters, and musicians, including founding Temptation Otis Williams, Mickey Stevenson, surviving Funk Brother Eddie Willis, synthesizer genius Malcolm Cecil, guitar legend Michael Sembello, and many othersTraces Stevie's personal and musical development through the decades, from the early 1960s R&B of "Fingertips" to the social and political themes of "Living for the City" and other 1970s classics, through periods of musical and personal confusion, uncertainty, and, later, renewalRead Signed, Sealed, and Delivered to explore the life and work of one of pop music's most compelling masters of invention. Seller Inventory # BZE9780470481509

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