REUTERS: President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle honored Stevie Wonder with an award and a White House concert on Wednesday, crediting the Motown legend’s music for helping to bring them together. The multi-Grammy winning soul singer was presented the Library of Congress’ second annual Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the White House event in recognition of his music’s effect on culture and its ability to unite people.
“We honor a man whose music and lyrics I fell in love with when I was a litte girl,” Michelle Obama said. “The first album I ever bought was Stevie Wonder’s ‘Talking Book.'” The president also noted Wonder’s influence on his own life, praising his music’s universal appeal. “I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me,” Obama said.
Wonder, who was born in Saginaw, Michigan, became blind shortly after birth but learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums by age 9. At the age of 12, after moving to Detroit, he was given a recording contract by Motown Records, going on to deliver 32 No. 1 R&B and pop singles, garner 25 Grammy Awards and sell more than 100 million records. MORE