Happy Birthday, Stevie Wonder!

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Stevie Wonder, the legendary funk and soul musician, is 63 today.

A trailblazer from the moment he joined Motown, Stevie Wonder’s career has spanned six decades and seen his work inspire some of the greatest musicians we have ever known (including a certain Michael Jackson, whom he wrote for and duetted with on a few occasions). You may know him as the guy behind the piano or keyboard with the dark shades, but you may not readily think of Stevie Wonder as a drummer or a sampler. In the late 70s, before samplers and drum machines dominated the soundscapes of hip hop, Stevie was using some of the first samplers, and was influential in his use of other pieces of technology like the Talkbox. In this video, from an episode of The Cosby Show, he is seen with a Synclavier in the studio. The Huxtable family subsequently enter and Stevie gets them to join in with his performance by way of sampling their voices into his Synclavier and finally, singing I Just Called To Say I Love You.

From all of Sampleface, we wish Mr Stevland Hardaway MorrisĀ a very happy birthday!