Oprah Talks to Stevie Wonder
Oprah: Why do you say you aren't a normal man?
Stevie: A normal man gets up at a certain time, works a job, and knows what his job will be for X amount of hours. Then he goes home to his family, maybe watches television, and he knows what time he's going to bed. He's responsible for himself and his immediate family. But a man who's not normal is responsible for many, many lives. He finds pride in that and understands the challenge.
Oprah: I hear there's nothing normal about your schedule. Because there's no day or night for you, don't you stay up for two days at a time?
Stevie: Yes, and I don't say that proudly. It just is what it is. But it's a fallacy that because I can't see I don't know night from day. I have a clear sense of time.
Oprah: I hear it's not unusual for people who work with you to get a call at 4 a.m.
Stevie: Yes. But you know, some of these people are just talking stuff, using me as an excuse. It's like, "Honey, where are you?" "I'm just here with Stevie. He's playing 'Fingertips' or whatever."
Oprah: When did you first realize people liked your music?
Stevie: That's a good question, because I wonder if you get this feeling, too. There's a synergy when you're performing, an exchange of energy between you and the audience....
Oprah: Right, and you want more of it.
Stevie: Yes. I remember writing "Isn't She Lovely?"—I can almost cry right now thinking about it. The sound of my daughter Aisha splashing in the bathtub created a picture. That was emotion stuck in a moment, and that can never, ever be taken away.
Oprah: Did you experience that feeling as a boy?
Stevie: I did. I was a big fan of Neil Sedaka, and the other kids would call me white boy. But I was just a lover of all music. I loved Smokey Robinson's "I'll Try Something New." When I'd sing that song, the girls would come around, and my heart would beat fast. I couldn't see the girls, but I could feel something from them. I was like, "Man, they're into this."
Oprah: That's what happened to me when I grew up speaking in church. It was the beginning of my broadcasting career.
Stevie: It's an incredible feeling.