By Tim Saunders on
It was a night to warm you both inside and out, with good music to dance to, and a cause to make the warm fuzziness spread from the dance floor to the soul. And all due to the return to the stage of one of music’s best known entertainers.
The 12th annual Stevie Wonder House Full Of Toys charity concert was held on December 15 at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, with a host of performers joining the legend on stage for an evening of exceptional music and fun. Proceeds from the show benefited underprivileged children during the holiday season, and provided toys, clothing, and food for needy families in the LA area. Ticket holders were asked to donate an unwrapped toy worth at least $10 at the door, and with over 5000 people attending, the results were phenomenal.
Wonder, who has just finished his first full tour in over a decade, was in fine form for the show, and drew heavily on hits from his 1973 album, “Innervisions”, with songs such as “Higher Ground” and a stirring version of “Golden Lady.” He also showed his wild, zany side as he played extensively with his talkbox, distorting his voice into a robot-like growl to cover some unlikely holiday tunes by other artists. He explained that this is the second Christmas since the death of his mother, and the emotions of grief and loss flowed through with an especially poignant version of “Ava Maria”.
The 57-year-old singer was joined on stage by John Mayer, who performed a duet on his own song, “Waiting On The World To Change”, and then provided cuttingly funky guitar licks on “Superstition”. This was followed by the appearance of John Legend, who laid down a soulful rendition of “Ordinary People” with Wonder.
“I’m honored to be in his presence, on his stage,” said Legend as Wonder swayed in joyful bliss to the music. “And to call him one of my biggest influences.”
Other performers on the night included Danny Carreras, a former bodyguard of Wonder’s who is now a successful gospel singer, and Edwin Hall, who performed just days after the death of his wife. The Hollywood Pop Academy Choir, made up of children and young people, also performed.
“I see everything as a blessing from God; the awards, the tributes from the stars, all of it,” said Wonder just before the show. “I don’t question anything. I just want to thank everyone for their support through the years because it means the world to me, it really does.”
Copyright © 2007 Look to the Stars