Stevie Wonder Announces That He Needs A Kidney Transplant

Stevie Wonder performs onstage at Q85: A Musical Celebration for Quincy Jones at the Microsoft Theatre on September 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Stevie Wonder needs a new kidney. TMZ reports that the legendary musician revealed the news during a performance on Saturday. Fortunately, he also announced that he’d already found a donor and needed time off from touring so that he could have the surgery.

“I’m all good, I’m all good, I’m all good,” he said, reassuring the crowd.

Speculation about Stevie Wonder’s wellbeing has been stirring since a video claiming that his kidneys were failing appeared on YouTube on June 25. In the video, Philadelphia radio personality Patty Jackson reported that Wonder had just started on dialysis and was hoping to get a transplant from one of his children.

“He’s got some health challenges, but he doesn’t want a big PR thing out of this,” said musician Joan Belgrave in an interview with the Detroit Free Press.

“He knows what he has to do to get himself together, and he’s doing it. He’s got a team around him — that’s what he needs. He’s got people around him who love him.”

Belgrave went on to say that they laughed and joked together during a conversation this week and that Wonder is “in great spirits.”

“You would never know anything is going on,” she added.

“He’s making music and doing what he does, and that’s what he wants to focus on.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, the 69-year-old musician had pulled out of a “tentatively” scheduled appearance at the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame ceremony in Detroit where he was inducted as a songwriter. As the article notes, the concern about Stevie Wonder’s health hasn’t just been expressed on social media. People have been going to an in-progress mural of the legendary performer asking about why it was being done at this time. It seems that some were interpreting the project as a sign that Wonder was near death.

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But his friends have said they’re optimistic about his condition, reflecting the attitude that Wonder emanated when he made the announcement about his health.

Stevie Wonder was born in 1950 in Michigan and is widely considered one of the most influential and celebrated musicians and songwriters in American history. As Biography reports, he was a child prodigy who started recording his music at the age of 11. He has had several no. 1 pop hits including, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” “Higher Ground,” “Boogie on Reggae Woman,” “Sir Duke,” “I Wish,” and “Superstition.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the kidney transplant will take place in September.