Friday the 13th is supposed to be a day we fear because of tales we’ve
been told throughout our childhoods. While mainstream America stays on
edge, we’ve found a reason to celebrate this particular Friday the
13th. Today is the day Stevie Wonder was brought into the world. Since
gaining fame in the early sixties, Wonder has etched an eternal place
in our hearts and music collections with hits upon hits. Being that
it’s impossible to correctly rank the best Stevie songs, we thought we
would rank the best songs he’s written for other artists. Stevie,
happy birthday to ya!
5. Quincy Jones ft. Patti Austin – Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me
When Quincy Jones released his seminal album, The Dude, music fans
couldn’t get enough. What more do you need? Stevie Wonder writing a
song about finding the strength to leave a selfish lover, Quincy
handling the music, and Patti Austin’s impeccable voice is a recipe
4. Minnie Riperton – Perfect Angel
In 1973, Minnie Riperton had abandoned the bright lights of the
entertainment world for a quiet life as a homemaker and mother.
Stevie Wonder convinced Riperton to record one last album. Out of the
sessions came the title track, “Perfect Angel.” The smooth track
evokes feelings of love and appreciation for the love in your life.
Also, Wonder is the catalyst behind the album’s biggest hit, “Lovin’
You.” He asked Riperton and her husband, Richard Rudolph, to come up
with a song that would most embarass them. They wrote and recorded it
and the rest is history.
3. Rufus – Tell Me Something Good
Hitting the airwaves in 1974, “Tell Me Something Good” became a
signature hit for Rufus and Chaka Khan. This song showcases Stevie’s
experimental nature. “Tell Me Something Good” was one of the first
songs to feature the talk box. For its originality, this became a Top
Five Billboard hit and has been covered by countless artists since.
2. Michael Jackson – I Can’t Help It
There isn’t much that needs to be said about this record. “I Can’t
Help It” is a jazz piece interpreted by a pop/soul artist. Wonder’s
romantic lyrics combined with Jackson’s lithe tenor created magic. If
you ask fans one of their favorite MJ songs, this is usually at the
top of the list.
1. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – Tears Of A Clown
A collaborative effort between Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder,
“Tears Of A Clown” became an international success in 1967. Wonder
created the music and Robinson was reminded of the circus upon his
first listen. That notion of the circus prompted the two musicians to
craft one of the best pop songs in history. The track was so popular
it forced Smokey to continue to perform with the Miracles until 1972
despite his plans to leave the group in 1969.
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