“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.” – Stevie Wonder
Good morning , meditation done.
Quote for the Day:
“Just because a man lacks the use of his eyes doesn’t mean he lacks vision.”
I met Stevie Wonder at the World Music Awards in Monaco. We were having dinner after performing the Awards ceremony in Prince Albert’s Palace dining room when someone from Stevie’s table came over to the 2unlimited table and said Stevie would like to meet us. We were all gob-smacked.
Stevie Wonder was the entire table’s hero and he wanted to meet us. Apparently because he is blind and couldn’t look around the room Stevie liked people to come to his table so he could feel their faces and speak to him, so he could capture the vibe of everybody who was in the room. I am telling you there have not been many more surreal moments in my life than Stevie Wonder touching my face at a dinner full of stars in Prince Albert of Monaco’s palace dining room!
Stevie Wonder may have been blind since shortly after his birth, but he definitely has vision.
Stevie Wonder was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950, the third of six children of Calvin Judkins and Lula Mae Hardaway, a songwriter.
He was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach; so he became blind.
When Stevie was four, his mother left his father and moved to Detroit with her children. She changed her name back to Lula Hardaway and later changed her son’s surname to Morris, partly because of relatives. Stevie has retained Morris as his legal surname. He began playing instruments at an early age, including piano, harmonica and drums. He formed a singing partnership with a friend; calling themselves Stevie and John, they played on street corners, and occasionally at parties and dances
In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder sang his own composition, “Lonely Boy”, to Ronnie White of the Miracles; White then took Stevie and his mother to an audition at Motown, where CEO Berry Gordy signed Wonder to Motown’s Tamla label. Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder.
His first two albums were not successful. Then the single, “Fingertips”, was released in May 1963, and became a major hit. The song, featuring a confident and enthusiastic Stevie returning for a spontaneous encore that catches out the replacement bass player, who is heard to call out “What key? What key?”.
‘Fingertips’ was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Stevie was aged 13, making him the youngest artist ever to top the chart.The single was simultaneously No. 1 on the R&B chart, the first time that had occurred.
Stevie has continued performing and recording for Motown ever since, among his works are singles such as “Superstition”, “Sir Duke”, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You”; and classic albums such as ‘Talking Book’, ‘Innervisions; and ‘Songs in the Key of Life’.
‘Songs in the Key of Life’ was Stevie Wonder’s eighteenth album, released on September 28, 1976 it was the culmination of his “classic period” albums and along with Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ is my favourite album of all time.
By 1976, Stevie Wonder had become one of the most popular figures in R&B and pop music, not only in the U.S., but worldwide. Within a short space of time, the albums Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness’ First Finale were all back-to-back top five successes, with the latter two winning Grammy Award for Album of the Year, in 1974 and 1975, respectively.
By the end of 1975, Wonder became serious about quitting the music industry and emigrating to Ghana (where my father is from) to work with handicapped children. He had expressed his anger with the way that the U.S. government was running the country
Stevie changed his decision, when he signed a new contract with Motown on August 5, 1975, thinking he was better off making the most of his career.
The contract was laid out as a seven-year, seven LP, $37 million deal and gave him full artistic control, making this the largest deal made with a recording star up to that point. Almost at the beginning Wonder took a year off from the music market, with a project for a double album to be released in 1976.
There was huge anticipation for the new album, which was initially scheduled for release around October 1975. It was delayed on short notice when Wonder felt that further remixing was essential.
Work on the new album continued into early 1976. A name was finally chosen for the album: Songs in the Key of Life. The title would represent the formula of a complex “key of life” and the proposals for indefinite success. The album was released on September 28, 1976 after a two-year wait as an ambitious double LP with a four-song bonus EP.
Songs in the Key of Life became the best-selling and most critically acclaimed album of Wonder’s career. In 2003, it was ranked number 57 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In the same year it was preserved into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress, which called it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Over time, the album became a standard, and it is considered Stevie Wonder’s signature album. “Of all the albums,” he told Q magazine (April 1995 issue),
“Songs in the Key of Life I’m most happy about. Just the time, being alive then. To be a father and then… letting go and letting God give me the energy and strength I needed.”
‘Songs in the Key of Life’ is often cited as one of the greatest albums in popular music history. In 2001 the TV network VH1 named it the seventh greatest album of all time; in 2003, the album was ranked number 57 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Many musicians have also remarked on the quality of the album and its influence on their own work. For example, Elton John said, in his notes for Wonder on the 2003 Rolling Stone’s list of “The Immortals – The Greatest Artists of All Time” (in which Wonder was ranked number 15):
“Let me put it this way: wherever I go in the world, I always take a copy of Songs in the Key of Life. For me, it’s the best album ever made, and I’m always left in awe after I listen to it.”
In an interview with Ebony magazine, Michael Jackson called Songs in the Key of Life his favourite Stevie Wonder album.
George Michael cited the album as his favorite of all time and with Mary J. Blige covered “As” for a 1999 hit single. George performed “Love’s in Need of Love Today” on his Faith tour in 1988, and released it as a B-side to “Father Figure”. He also performed “Village Ghetto Land” at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute in 1988. He later covered “Pastime Paradise” and “Knocks Me Off My Feet” in his 1991 ‘Cover to Cover’ tour.
R&B singers in particular have praised the album – Prince called it the best album ever recorded, Mariah Carey generally names the album as one of her favourites, and Whitney Houston also remarked on the influence of Songs in the Key of Life on her singing.
‘Songs in the Key of Life ‘was truly a visionary album.
All in all in his career Stevie Wonder has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists, and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists.
Stevie is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States.
In 2009, Stevie Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
In 2013, Billboard magazine released a list of the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s 55th anniversary, with Wonder at number six.
Stevie Wonder plays the piano, synthesiser, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica and Clarinet. In his childhood, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocal ability.
Stevie Wonder created his own vision and truly fulfilled his dreams
It is so important that you create your own Vision for your life.
You have to have you own dreams. Writing your dreams down, turns your dreams into your goals. So everyday when you wake up, your dreams can provide motivation to get out of bed and do things to achieve those dreams and fulfil goals.
My vision, my dreams and my goals have motivated me to wake up meditate and practice yoga everyday for the last 10 years, which has really helped me in all aspects of my life and not just my health.
The more I exercise and practice the stronger my breathing becomes and the more control of it I have.
The yoga poses and breathing teach me that if I control my breath I can control my mind. The pain and discomfort I feel in the awkward yoga poses, will go away if I breathe and stay calm. This mirrors situations in life which can seem impossible with no way out, but if you stay calm, focused and breathe then your head clears, the situation does not seem as bad as you first thought and you can see a way forward.
This is the basis of my Elysium Way Training System.
The Elysium Way enhances and enriches lives allowing you to reach your full potential physically, mentally and spiritually.
And one of the main components of the Elysium Way is practicing yoga.
If you would like to improve your breathing and clear your mind by introducing yoga into your life or to strengthen your daily practice to help you focus, smile more and achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams?
If you would like to share my passion, improve your breathing and clear your mind by introducing yoga into your life or to strengthen your daily practice to help you focus, smile more and achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams?
Why not take your first step and come on my yoga retreat in Morocco from Saturday March 18th to 25th and join me at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort the new five-star luxury destination in El Jadida Morocco
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The location is amazing.
It is a truly unique coastal destination resort, less than an hour drive south of Casablanca and set in a region abounding in contrasts that has preserved all its authenticity.
Rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, the golf course, the swimming pool and the patio, plunging down to the sea from the terraces and offering a 180-degree view over the Atlantic Ocean.
The view will take your breath away.
So if you would like to learn more about yoga and lose your fear of failure, come and join me for some fun in the sun at a beautiful, exotic location in Morocco, then Click Here
Have a marvellous and a wonderful week.
May all your dreams come true.
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning Smiling and Living the Dream