Poster Stevie Wonder on stage
Stevie Wonder performs during the 65th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for the Recording A
Rhapsody in Black

Stevie Wonder, the influential artist who transformed R&B and funk music

Rhapsody in Black - Stevie Wonder

Embark on a musical journey through the extraordinary life and achievements of Stevie Wonder, the iconic artist who reshaped the landscape of R&B and funk music. Discover the essence of his soulful voice and revolutionary compositions that continue to inspire generations.

Stevie Wonder’s musical legacy spans several decades, marked by an impressive record of 28 top 10 hits and 10 No. 1 hits. Immerse yourself in the vibrant streets of Detroit, where his music draws inspiration from the rich tapestry of classical influences and intricate harmonies.

Unveiling his deep-rooted love for classical music, Wonder’s passion stems from his mother’s guidance, leading him to master the piano and explore new artistic horizons.

Musical selections from Stevie Wonder

Sir Duke - Songs in the Key of Life

From signing a recording contract at 11 to leveraging his creative independence, Wonder’s ability to infuse political and social messages into his music set him apart. His remarkable run between 1972 and 1976 produced five albums, three of which earned him the prestigious Grammy for album of the year. His double album, Songs in the Key of Life, seamlessly blended social change and classical influences.

Sketches of a Life

A pinnacle of his career, Sketches of a Life stands as Wonder’s magnum opus — an orchestral composition of grandeur, written over 18 years. This heartfelt tribute to his mother premiered in 2009 as he was honored with the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize.

Discover Wonder’s enduring legacy, a testament to his unrivaled talent and vision that transcends time and genre. Immerse yourself in his captivating music, which continues to resonate with audiences worldwide.


Host: Vernon Neal

Producer: Dan Nass

Writers: Andrea Blain and Scott Blankenship

Additional music selections: Ines Guanchez

Executive Producer: Julie Amacher

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About Rhapsody in Black

Where we turn up the voices of Black artists in the world of classical music, with host Vernon Neal.

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About Rhapsody in Black