Stevie Wonder Explains In-Depth How He Lost His Sight

One of the greatest artists of the 1970s and beyond is Stevie Wonder. However, he was a musical prodigy in his early years before his popularity really took off at that time. When he was 11 years old, Ronnie White of The Miracles heard some of his early songs. Ronnie loved what he heard and led him to a nearby recording studio, where he was offered his first record deal. With "Fingertips," his debut number-one song, Wonder broke the record for the youngest artist to ever reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts at the age of 13.

Wonder's award-winning career was launched on the strength of this strong beginning in his formative years. He shared the illustrious Frank Sinatra with the Grammy Award for Album of the Year three times in a row when he was just 27 years old. Then, in his 30s, he received an Oscar for "The Woman in Red," a 1985 romantic comedy movie, for Best Original Song. Wonder became the first Motown artist and the second African American musician in history to win the award as a result. What a high point in a career, eh?

Wonder is a living example of how one can do great things despite having a disability thanks to his many remarkable accomplishments throughout the course of his lengthy career. He has a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

Wonder's blindness is certainly well known, but not everyone is aware of how he lost his sight. Wonder explained that his inability to see is due to being born too soon and having too much oxygen in a 2004 interview with Oprah Winfrey. Even though he lost his sight, things might have been far worse.

Stevie Wonder, who was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1950, would go on to become a hugely skilled musician and entertainer, but his early years were plagued by health issues. Wonder was given oxygen and placed in an incubator at the hospital after being born six weeks early. Retinopathy of prematurity, which leads in the eyes not growing, causes the retinas to detach, and finally resulting in blindness, was caused by the combination of being born so early and receiving too much oxygen.

In a private conversation with Oprah Winfrey in 2004, Wonder discussed this encounter. You weren't placed in an incubator and given too much oxygen, Winfrey questioned. Answer from Wonder

"Yes, I was too quick. My doctor gave me too much oxygen since he didn't know what is now known about the ideal quantity, which caused damage to part of my eyes."

Even though it was awful, things might have been worse. Added he,

"In fact, a girl who was born a minute before me passed away. That much oxygen was too much for her."

When Winfrey asked Wonder if he ever felt resentful over the doctor's error, Wonder responded:

"No. When I first visited the hospital where I was born in Saginaw, Michigan, there was a large celebration and they handed me a special honor. People could have been afraid that I would sue that doctor's ass. He didn't mean to hurt me though."

It's very great how sensitive and aware of the issue Wonder is. He would have every right to be angry and resentful about the doctor's carelessness, but he's decided to look at the bright side of life, and that's undoubtedly helped him advance.

Wonder discussed his childhood and its conditions in the same conversation with Winfrey. When asked if he would change becoming blind, he replied that he wouldn't "I have no regrets about what transpired since it shaped who I am. However, I'd want to see."

He also grew to have a very strong relationship with his mother, Lula Mae Hardaway. When he was five years old, did he tell his mother, "Don't worry about me being blind, because I'm happy?" Winfrey inquired. It was "something like that," Wonder acknowledged, stating:

"The fact that my mother was constantly sobbing upset me. She believed that God may be punishing her. She lived at a period when conditions for women in her situation were exceptionally challenging."

He recalls saying in the past that he would want to pass away with his mother since he loved her so much if anything happened to her. But he came to the realization that his goal in life is to "carry forth the essence of what she has shown (him): love and goodness." He explains that the most important things mother taught him were:

"to keep going. never to feel embarrassed. to keep my past from burying me."

Because of his surroundings, he became "more interested," and undoubtedly, the lessons his mother taught him helped him develop a strong sense of self-worth and laid the groundwork for his success in life as a whole. Now that Wonder is spreading his mother's message of generosity and kindness, he is an inspiration to people all over the world.
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