Stevie Wonder to Receive 'Icon Award' at 2012 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS
Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Stevie Wonder will receive the 2012 Billboard Icon Award. An all-star tribute to him, along with the award, will be presented at the "2012 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS," hosted by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell, which airs live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on SUNDAY, MAY 20 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Lisa Marie Presley, Wiz Khalifa, Luke Bryan, Robin Thicke, Brandy, Monica and Miley Cyrus have been announced as presenters. They join previously announced presenters Taio Cruz, Gavin DeGraw, Gladys Knight, Julianne Hough, Natasha Bedingfield and Jeremy Sisto, along with musical acts Kelly Clarkson, Linkin Park, Nelly Furtado, Usher, Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, LMFAO and The Wanted.
Stevie Wonder is one of the most celebrated and prominent figures in popular music who, at the age of 13, was the youngest recording artist to achieve a No. 1 single with "Fingertips, Part 2," and subsequently was also the first to simultaneously reach No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100, R&B Singles and Album Charts. To date he has amassed 49 Top 40 singles, 32 No. 1 singles, and worldwide sales of over 100 million units. He has won 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
While Stevie Wonder's songs are unequivocally classic and his influence timeless, equally laudable are his humanitarian efforts, philanthropic leadership and generosity of spirit. He has received awards from the President's Committee on Employment of Handicapped People, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Children's Diabetes Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities.
In 1983 Wonder spearheaded the realization of "Martin Luther King Day" as a national holiday. His participation in the 1985 "We Are the World" fundraiser for hunger in Africa was a music industry milestone, while his involvement to put an end to apartheid in South Africa is legendary. In 1999 he became the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. He is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Apollo Theatre Hall of Fame.
In 2009 Wonder was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and performed his commission, "Sketches of a Life," which placed him in a very select group of eminent composers who have received library commissions, ranging from Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein to Paquito D'Rivera. Wonder is a Commander of France's National Order of Arts and Letters and is a designated United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on persons with disabilities.