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Monday, 26 October 2009

Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday

'Happy Birthday' is a 1981 single written, produced, and performed by Stevie Wonder for the Motown label.

Wonder, a social activist, was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday in the US, and created this single to make the cause known.

Besides being released as a single, the song also appears on Wonder's album Hotter Than July. 'Happy Birthday', one of many of Wonder's songs, featured the use of a keyboard synthesizer.

The song features Wonder lamenting the fact that anyone would oppose the idea of a Dr. King holiday, where "peace is celebrated throughout the world" and singing to King in the chorus, "Happy birthday to you". The holiday, he proposes, would facilitate the realization of Dr. King's dreams of integration and "love and unity for all of God's children".

Wonder used the song to popularize the campaign, and continued his fight for the holiday, holding the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. The then United States President Ronald Reagan approved the creation of the the national holiday in the US, signing it into existence on November 2, 1983. The first official US Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held in the third Monday in January of each year, was held on January 20, 1986, and was commemorated with a large-scale concert, where Stevie Wonder was the headlining performer.

Although the single failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100, it became one of Wonder's biggest hits in the UK, reaching No.2 in the charts in August 1981.

In some African-American circles, the chorus of the song is sung in addition to, or in place of, the traditional "Happy Birthday to You". Stevie Wonder performed this song at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, United States with all the other artists performing there to commemorate the Centennial of the Modern Olympics (1896–1996).

Click the link below to download the following:

Single Version

Instrumental Version


Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday - Video

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