Stevie Wonder with his mom, Lula Mae Hardaway, and others at the 1974 GRAMMYs
GRAMMY Rewind: Stevie Wonder Shares His First GRAMMY Win With His Mom
In the latest episode of GRAMMY Rewind, GRAMMY.com takes a journey back to the 1974 GRAMMY Awards when a then-23-year-old Stevie Wonder took home his first four GRAMMY wins for music for his classic albums Talking Book (1972) and Innervisions (1973).
The soulful musical legend had already earned six GRAMMY nominations during four prior shows, beginning at the 1967 GRAMMYs for his 1965 hit, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)." Just seven years later, he'd take home his first of many golden gramophones.
In March 1974, rock 'n' roll icons Chuck Berry and Little Richard presented Wonder—and his beaming mother—with his first-ever GRAMMY, winning the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male category for "Superstition," an iconic track from Talking Book.
Immediately before Berry and Richard jokingly fought over the microphone to announce the "Higher Ground" singer's name, the two dynamic forces of rock performed a high-powered medley of their music on the GRAMMY stage. Wonder, rocking a perfect afro puff and an embroidered earth-toned shirt-and-pants set, brought up his mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, who looked glamourous in a magenta gown and big feather boa.
"First of all, I'd like for you all, please, not to give this to me, but to my mother," Wonder announced, as Berry handed the golden gramophone to Hardaway. "My mother is going to accept the award for me. I am so very happy; you don't even know how happy I am," he said with a huge smile.
"I would like to thank you all for making this the sunshine of my life tonight," a radiant Hardaway said, nodding to her son's song, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," which would also win a GRAMMY that evening.
The groovy "Superstition," released in October 1972 on Tamla/Motown as the lead single to Wonder's 15th studio album, Talking Book, won for Best Rhythm & Blues Song that night. "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," the album's second and only additional single, won for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male.
Later in the night, Wonder's next album, Innervisions, released in August 1973, less than a year after Talking Book, would win the prestigious Album Of The Year gramophone, rounding out an epic run at the 1974 GRAMMYs.
His next two (also classic!) albums, Fulfillingness' First Finale (1974) and Songs In The Key Of Life (1976), would also win the Album Of The Year award, at the 17th GRAMMY Awards and 19th GRAMMY Awards, respectively, along with three additional wins each year.
To date, Wonder has earned 25 GRAMMYs, in addition to his six recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. He received the Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and was named MusiCares Person Of The Year in 1999, among many other career accolades.