The musical genius of Stevie Wonder is something known by most of us, but he doesn't talk enough about how much of a good father he is.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 18, 2020. It has since been updated.
There are many people who have defied our notions about the right age to have kids. Some of those people are celebrities who are all about family. They love their big families and they've got a great sense of humor about having many kids. One among them is musical genius Stevie Wonder, who was born blind but went on to be "blessed" with the gift of music that helped him express to the world what he was seeing.
Wonder, who was born Stevland Hardaway Morris, loves the word "blessed." His mother was "blessed" to have him, she told him. He was "blessed" with his music genius. He was also "blessed" to survive a car crash in 1973 and most importantly, he has been "blessed" with his children. "It is a blessing for me to become Stevie Wonder, but I believe God has even more for me to do than just this. I'm ready for God's orders," he said in 2013, according to GQ magazine.
He has also been blessed with nine children over the course of his life and the ninth one was born in December 2014 with then-girlfriend now-wife Tomeeka Bracy. The musician was 64 at the time. They named her Nia, who was the second child of the couple. During an interview with The View, he joked and set the record straight when he was asked if he was expecting triplets, according to Daily Mail.
"I got, how many, 22 kids?" he joked, before telling the hosts of The View, "It's not true. The truth is we're going to have a wonderful daughter, born in December, [and her] name is going to be Nia, which [means] purpose."
The Grammy winner was previously married to Syreeta Wright from 1970 to 1971 and Karen "Kai" Millard Morris from 2001 until 2012. Wright is a famous Motown singer-songwriter and worked with him on hits like Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours and If You Really Love Me. Wonder also worked on her albums Syreeta (1972) and Stevie Wonder Presents Syreeta (1974). They amicably separated and moved on with their lives, according to Amomama.
"I'm not a normal man—never have been. The more I accept that, the better I feel. I'm a work in progress, but if I know in my heart that I'm doing my best, that my heart's in the right place, that I have unconditional love, I feel okay. That isn't to say that I haven't made mistakes," he told Oprah in 2004.
Morris, a fashion designer, and Wonder were married for 11 years and they had two sons, 18-year-old Kailand and 14-year-old Mandla Morris, together. However, they are not the oldest children of the musician. There is not much known about his oldest child. His oldest daughter, Aisha, is 45 and performs with him often. She also inspired his hit single Isn't She Lovely?
Her mother, Yolanda Simmons, and he met when she applied for a job as a secretary at his publishing company. They also had a son, Keita, together, who also works in the music industry as a DJ.
The Living for the City singer found love again in schoolteacher Bracy, whom he dated for five years before they got married. They have two kids together and they are the youngest of his children. He also has a son Mumtaz with Melody McCulley, daughter Sophia and son Kwame. Their mother's name has not been revealed, as per Amomama.
The musician has nothing but respect for the women he has loved over the years. "I give a lot of credit to the mothers of my children. They've raised the children well. But I'm not one of those fathers who just send money. I guide them as a father and talk to them as a friend. I always want my children to feel they can tell me anything," he told Oprah.
The Part-Time Lover singer grew up in a household where his father abused his mother, his siblings, and him. But, even though he grew up in poverty and with a disability, his talent was recognized at an early age. And, as a father and as a human, he wants to pass on the lessons of "kindness and goodness."
"It bothered me that my mother was crying all the time. She thought God might be punishing her for something. She lived during a time when things were particularly difficult for a woman in her circumstances. I used to say that if something happened to my mother, I wanted to die with her. That's because I loved her so much. I want to live so I can carry out the essence of what she has shown me: kindness and goodness," he told Oprah.