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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Connector of the Day: Stevie Wonder

December 2nd, 2009
06:01 PM ET

Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder is the newest U.N. Messenger for Peace.

Throughout his blockbusting hit career, Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits, including songs like ‘Superstition’, ‘Higher Ground’ and ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/02/wonder.art.jpg caption="Stevie Wonder: living legend and White House favourite."]

He has won twenty-two Grammy Awards – the most ever won by a male solo artist.

Blind from birth, Wonder’s music has always reflected his concern with humanitarian issues. He has written, produced and performed songs to endorse charities for disabilities, AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hunger and homelessness and domestic abuse.

A much-loved favourite at the White House, Wonder's tune, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," was often played at President Obama's campaign stops.

The president has been known to cite Wonder's music as the soundtrack to his youth and marriage. Wonder's love song, "You and I," had been the couple's wedding song.

This week he is joining the prestigious list of United Nations Messengers of Peace to advocate for the Organisation’s work.
“Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, ahead of Wonder’s official designation.

Stevie Wonder will be our Connector of the Day – send your questions and we’ll put the best of them to him on the show.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Babbie Kabae

    I love Stevie Wonder, my first ever song that I did as a child, was 'I just called to say I love you'... Stevie, I wrote in to say I love yu!
    My question... how do you differentiate the feeling of love and happiness, in your minds eye?
    God Bless yu Peace Messenger!

    December 3, 2009 at 3:15 am | Reply
  2. Lisa Cash

    Wonderful

    December 3, 2009 at 5:23 am | Reply
  3. Harry David-Ayabiogbe

    Stevie, you are the sunshine in virtually all homes that loves great music. Ride on brother and God bless you.
    Harry

    December 3, 2009 at 7:31 am | Reply
  4. Thomas Moreau

    Je l'ai vu le dimanche précédent l'investiture... wonderful music, wonderful guy!

    December 3, 2009 at 7:44 am | Reply
  5. SOULE ALLAWI

    Who else than Uncle Stevie can better represent the Spirit of peace and Love, Whose else than Our favourite Idol can deserve the title of "Messanger of peace".

    GOD Bess ya in your mission

    December 3, 2009 at 7:46 am | Reply
  6. Dr.S.Bajimaya, MD(Eye)

    God bless you peace messanger. I am writing from Nepal, peace process in my country still on the endless highway. I hope you will provide your valuable time for third world countries too.

    December 3, 2009 at 8:44 am | Reply
  7. Dr. Robert Gerard

    Dear Stevie,

    Your destiny is now in focus. Singing for "Peace" is just the beginning. May the BLISS of God be heard in every note and every word you sing. It is time that all Governments unite for Peace. Most of the people already have, it is the governments you should sing to.

    You are already blessed ...

    December 3, 2009 at 9:00 am | Reply
  8. ugyen norbu

    great to hear that StevieWonder, the greatest of all, will be the messenger of peace. you are the best. good luck

    December 3, 2009 at 9:11 am | Reply
  9. BEN ONWUGBARA

    Hi Uncle Stevie, right from my childhood and my youthful age you have been a great source of inspiration to me. Your tremendous belief in God Almighty has also inspired me and millions of other youths worldwide to share your belief in one love. Uncle Stevie you well deserve the honour and I pray God Almighty to always endow you with good health and long live to consumate your new designation.

    Remain blessed.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:36 am | Reply
  10. Farhad Fatakia

    Sitting in Pakistan these days Stevie, but I've always been a big fan and you'll be happy to know that people here really appreciate your contribution to music. You have a huge fan following here!

    My question is a tough one.

    You've had a lot of success in your career Stevie, more than an average joe like me could even imagine. With the UN gig, you are getting the recognition you deserve for your work but is there some goal left that you haven't reached or some award you haven't got that still eludes you?

    Take good care of yourself champ.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:36 am | Reply
  11. Abdelaziz Alaraby

    Hi Mr Steve,
    I'm an Arabic fan from Algeria I want to ask you about our Arabic Music: what do you know about it and have you ever thaught of doing some intercultural work with arbic singers. sorry for my english and thanks for your answers

    December 3, 2009 at 10:36 am | Reply
  12. Kim Jarvis

    Whenever someone asks me to name a must-have album, I always say Talking Book. Everyone must have Talking Book in their collection to make it complete no matter what style of music you prefer.
    Stevie, your accomplishments are an inspiration to us all, but mostly it's your music that transcends, so you being named a United Nations Messenger of Peace is fitting.
    Now for the question: When you were a boy, what pushed or inspired you to play an instrument that you could not see? Who saw that you were gifted with an amazing talent at such a young age and then took you under their wing to teach you? Or are you entirely self-taught?

    December 3, 2009 at 10:48 am | Reply
  13. Yuji Nakamoto

    Stevie,you have never dreamed how your songs encourage Japanese people who are under pressure of work,financial problems,human-relationships,I love your songs because they can cure distorted minds tired by hooking on computer so many hours,arguing with colleagues for trifle business matters.I wish you could keep your symbolic,prestigious music status in all parts of the world.I saw your concert in Japan,some years ago.It was great.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:59 am | Reply
  14. Paul Asmanis

    The sunshine of our lives, the unique talent of Sir Stevie TRUE Wonder provided my family, friends and I, with the warm super harmonious melodies throughout our lives. Our only complaint is that we were never blessed to see this true superstar singing his masterpieces in Greece – but hope dies last, like we say in here.
    Stevie you are deep in our hearts brother – may God give you more strength to carry on with your noble work.
    THANK YOU from all of us!

    December 3, 2009 at 11:06 am | Reply
  15. kila john

    Hi stevie,
    How do you view this new mission: an achievement or a call of duty and responsibility?
    Good luck in your mission!

    December 3, 2009 at 11:08 am | Reply
  16. matiko matiko

    Whe will you come to South Africa?

    December 3, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  17. Abednico Dialwa

    Hi Mr Steev,
    I'm a big fan of not only your music, but you. i just wanna kno if you would ever visit my Country Botswana.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:26 am | Reply
  18. frederic Barnwell III

    please write and sing another album at the level of "Wonder Where I'm Comin' From." I know that you have an understanding of the world and what is happening now. I believe that you listen to other artists and appreciate their music. Please work with them, allow them to help your music grow. We need your wisdom packaged and wrapped in the musical styles of today. Peace and Love!

    December 3, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply
  19. Derin

    Hi Stevie,

    I pray to God the new generation artist borrow a leaf from people like you and stop gyrating naked on the stage.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:31 am | Reply
  20. jeff austin

    Dear Stevie,
    May God's blessings be always upon you and of course those dearest to you. I am about your same age and i always love you as the great,great Artist that you are and above all the you were born when great black americans rule the world through they masterful brilliance and compelling international appeal, you were one of them my brother. Last but not least Iam glad that you are a singer and not an actor,because your appeal might have waned .May God's continued Blessings be upon you.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  21. Roberto Sanchez

    Stevie,

    "Lately" I have not heard better news. You are a blessed man and now you'll have additional "vivid reasons" to share at the UN some of your gifts.
    Cheers from Lima-Peru
    Roberto

    December 3, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  22. Georgi

    Hey, Stevie,

    Can U please tell me where do U get strenghts from to have such a smile. Thank U! Your music is a gift for my soul!

    December 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  23. Gary

    Stevie;
    Thanks for a lifetime of great songs and being such a class guy!
    I few years ago I read that you were going to have some "new surgical procedure" that would give you some level of "vision", but I never heard anything about the outcome of that surgery.

    How did it go? Can you share?
    Thanks
    Gary

    December 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  24. geoffreh nomeh

    hi steve. i love your acts. do you know anything about nigerian songs? keep up doing great. you are the best.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  25. Kent

    Dear Steven,
    You were born blind and at the same time fully blessed. You are not an ordinary person.
    My question to you is : Living all your life blind and hearing all sort of story around you (war, terrorism, suicide, UN effort for peace etc...) what is your most wishes for the world ?

    May God bless you and let meet in heaven if heaven exist at all .

    December 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  26. zerihun Assefa

    Dear Steve Wonder,

    I admire you very much I hope you know a little about Ethiopia.If you got a chance would you come here Despite poorness, we have a lot to admire. I know you are proud of being Black that is a key to be respected

    December 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  27. tuscia flat

    Dear Stevie – I was never a big pop follower, but the memory of your album The Secret Life of Plants has stayed with me for many years, ever since I moved abroad - I heard it again this autumn on You Tube, and was amazed. That went so far beyond any stereotype ( black singer, pop singer...) of styles or music genres - your music is always fun and pleasing, but that was truly art in the way that it transcended categories. I was interested to read that many commenters on the you tube site shared my opinion. Have you ever considered exploring further in that direction?

    December 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  28. Sander Mascilongo

    Dear Mr. Wonder,

    I have two questions for you.
    1~Is Wonder your real name?
    Or is it just a wonder that a wonder like you is named Wonder?

    2~I wonder if you can see figures in your dreams? I happened to know a blind girl in Holland who 'sees' in her dreams.

    I love your music and I thank God we live in the same period here on earth.

    Greatings from the Netherlands.
    Sander Mascilongo.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  29. Shiryl

    You have recorded with many.

    Any favorite Artists?
    or can you recall a favorite Time during a recording in the studio or concert?

    Blessings to you Stevie.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  30. Chris Hutchinson

    A fan from England for over 40 years.
    My Question ::::::
    Before during and after "Songs in the Key of Life" you spoke many times of "the oneness of all people" I beliieved then in the 'oneness' concept but over the years my belief has been battered and streched. Is it not time Stevie to offer to all those whose ears you have a 'back to basics' approach. From the heads of each and every country, down to the children of those same countrys, that ' ONENESS' cannot be acheived by war, greed,persicution or the pursuit of happiness through wealth.
    "Keep hatred from the mighty and the mighty from the small"
    Don't know who wrote that, but I do remember thinking he could have a future.
    God Bless Stevie.

    December 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  31. Michael

    Sorry for this very personal question;
    if you could get your sight only for one single moment, only to see
    one thing for a short while, what would it be ?

    December 3, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  32. DRUMM3R

    Mr. Stevland Morris,

    Please, as a Messenger of Peace, let your voice be heard loud and clear. Through the power of music, let your voice bring new hope to end war, cnflict and strife. You are one of few with such power and influence that can affect change for the entire human race. You have been chosen. Spread the LOVE. Make it count, my brother!

    December 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  33. Arao Valoi

    Hi Stevie Wonder. I hope you are keeping well. This is wonderfull and its the recognition you deserve. I'm from Mozambique, African continent, the place where, as you may know is characterized by political and social conflicts and where the political leaders are involved in corruptions scandals outcoming from those conflicts. As a newest U.N. Messenger for Peace, what would you like to adress to the African Leaders, manly in this issue of conflicts?

    December 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  34. Desmond

    It's a question that I have a hard time answering, so I was wondering how Stevie Wonder would do with it. "Which Stevie Wonder song is your favorite?"

    December 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  35. james kirik

    hi stevie.

    first heard you on the "am" radio on san francisco doing your harmonica song and didnt know, at that time that is was about 6 min song. unhead of the radio world. so they had to "cut" in down to the acceptable time of 2 and half mins. lol, on the 45 record the producers put the first part on one side and the seoncd have on the back side. if i still had that 45 i wonder how much that world go for now. if i had and could sell it, the profits would go to some of my favorite charites as well.

    since you were born in may of 1950 (i did not know that), you are 4 months older than me. amazing. so, my late question (s) is (1) how old exactly were you when you started in the music world, (2) what was that name of that "harmonica song" and where was that recorded, and (3) what church did you bless with your talents with, and (fourthly), who discovored you and im guessing that you did your first songs was with Motown, my how smart i am.

    thanks for blessing the world your music, and the becoming the new UN ambassador of peace. when im inaguarated into a political a political office in a couple of weeks would love for to be performance for it.

    final comment, sing on brother, i am typing this to say "i love you" back".

    December 3, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  36. liz

    Stevie Wonder is such an inspiratin, his music is so heart warming and such a pleasure to listern to. Even though he was born blind it does not matter because you are the Sunshine of my life. Stevie keep on keeping on. You have gotta be Superstitious.Lots and Lots of Love to you.YOU ARE TRUELY BLESSED.

    December 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  37. Vaid

    Stevie, congratulations on your role as UN Messenger of Peace. I can think of no better person to assist our planet in bringing about all the love again.

    Your special remit is work with the disabled. What plans do you have for reaching the disabled around the world, raising attention to their needs, helping them to realise their potential and working to fund basic treatments that can make their lives much more comfortable and independent?

    Do you think this new post would further delay the release of your promised new album 'Gospel Inspired by Lula'?

    December 3, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  38. JD

    I was wondering, you are a prolific live performer. Do you ever play wrong notes?

    December 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  39. dave chukwuji

    Stevie,

    You bring sunshine to the lives of millions! You are a human gem!

    My question:

    In a world made so dark by man's inhumanity to man, how will you be able to see and envision a message of peace to a world too blind to see?

    December 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  40. Martin Gunnarsson

    Mr Stevie Wonder.

    Has being blind helped you to become a better artist?

    Best regards

    Your biggest fan in Sweden

    Martin Gunnarsson

    December 3, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  41. Amina

    Mr Wonder you have strong religious convictions and longing for peace. However reality shows us that practically all conflicts in the world are fuelled because of religions? People always can find justifications in their holy books to wage war just like they found religious sanctions for slavery. Jews-Muslims (Middle East), Muslims-Hindus (India), Christians-Muslims (Africa and Southern Europe), Catholic-Protestants (Ireland). Secular countries today with no religion at state level, like Western Europe are the most peaceful.

    If peace came at the price of encouraging peoples to denounce their holy books, would you pursue that path?

    December 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  42. Jim Rowland

    As an artist, inspiration is the motivation to create and your music is testimony of your inspiration. My question is what triggered your inspiration to work with United Nations Messenger of Peace?

    December 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  43. Bruno Striano, Naples -Italy

    Dear Mr Morris,
    your lifetime commitment to make people of different races, religions, believings a universal family has achieved results which were unthinkable few years ago. I do really think you're one of the best recipients for such honourable and responsability role: UN messenger for Peace. I am also sure Mama Lula is smiling for this too from Heaven. She can be happy and proud of you once more. May God (whoever He is, Jesus, Allah, Buddha...) still lead you on this hard path. I trust your great and humble spirit and universal language will be able to reach everyone's heart and help this world to be a better place to live.
    I have no questions for you as you are the right answer already.
    Keep up the good work... A-l-w-a-y-s-
    Respecfully, Bruno Striano

    December 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  44. pritesh

    I reside in Mombasa, Kenya.I have a son who is 9 years and who is blind.Kindly advise at what age did you learn to play piano and did you have any difficulty in learning.How did you manage to reach the level you are today knowing the obstacles you would have faced being blind.Your advise would be of a lot of assistance to my son.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  45. Terry Walsh.

    Well, they finally realised that you are the right person for the job.
    After all these years of writing, singing and standing up for peace you now have the recognition .
    How proud your Mama would be.
    God bless you Steveland !
    Terry.
    Lifelong fan from Liverpool UK

    December 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  46. Eric E

    Dear Stevie,

    Your music over the years have lifted my spirits over the years ( and I trust that of many around the world). The fact that these music flowed from one born blind is touching, encouraging, challenging and invoke a certain healing effect. God is great indeed! May HE continue to be your source of strenght and peace. Indeed, you have peace, and therefore can work well as a UN Peace Messenger. The UN has choosen well in your appointment.

    Your life history has demonstrated that being sighted, although one of the greatest gifts of nature, has not made the world safe. It is therefore befittingly ironic that a blind person is hailed by people across the world as a purveyor of peace. I know you have never manufactured a mine nor deployed one in the field; probably never handled a gun; never cited in gender violence, street or gang fight, drunk-driving related accident; drug abuse, sexual molestation. The the list can go on endless. You are Peace Dove brother.

    Please, my question to you is very personal, and forgive me if it offends you: Have you ever visited a Pentecostal Church for miracle of receiving back your sight?

    Remain blessed.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  47. Kathode

    Dear Stevie;

    I met you at CSUN (Technology conference) several years back. Since you are a user of assistive technology, I would like to ask you what assistive technology you find most useful and what technology has not worked well for you that you thought would be "solved" by now.

    I saw you perform last year in Boston and it was a fantastic show. Much love to you!!!

    Kathy in Boston

    December 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  48. Rodel Reintegrado

    Meaningful song ever "We are the World", Is there a chance for a remake?

    December 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  49. ik

    hi stevie,u hv really being a source of hope to millions of people with one form of disability.just want to ask, what is your wish in life

    December 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  50. Katherine in South Carolina, USA

    Dear Stevie Wonder-ful,
    I am now 57 years old. When I first heard you sing your song, "For Once in My Life", I was a fan for life (could that have been 40 years ago, now?!) You are a brilliant musician, and a fine, fine human being.
    I wish all happiness to you!
    Your Friend,
    Katherine

    December 4, 2009 at 4:43 am | Reply
  51. Audie Saw

    Hi Stevie,
    I just call to say "I love you" long long ago song,but never forget.stay alive in my heart.

    December 7, 2009 at 8:53 am | Reply
  52. MERRY JOY HAYES

    Check out this cool video on You Tube called "Fall of the Republic" I LOVE YOU STEVIE!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:21 am | Reply
  53. Michaela Knothe

    Mr. Wonder how would you describe your visions of peace in the context of this century? Aren't they worth to write a song about it? 🙂

    With a lot of respect and the best wishes for you and your goals

    a young fan from germany

    Michaela Knothe

    December 29, 2009 at 11:22 am | Reply
  54. Newcourt, E.

    Stevie, u r a such a wonderful Wonder. How have u been coping with writing songs? Do u write songs yourself, or do u have someone write them for u?

    December 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  55. Seyi Kayode

    This is just a step further in determining what you truly deserve Mr. Stevie Wonder.
    You have been and I know you'll remain the greatest source of influence to me as far as Music is concerned.My perception of the sound of music changed forever when I started listening to you.You have the strongest SOUL I've ever heard in Music.
    I wish you absolute fulfilment in life.
    God bless you

    January 5, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  56. wie roulette spielen

    Damn, that sound's so easy if you think about it.

    January 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Reply
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    Great idea, but will this work over the long run?

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