Twenty-five time Grammy Award winner, Stevie Wonder, will serve as Grand Marshal of California Speedwayâs Sharp AQUOS 500 to be held on September 2, 2007, Speedway President Gillian Zucker announced Tuesday (Aug 7). Wonder will announce the, âGentlemen, Start Your Enginesâ command to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers in front of the live audience and millions of fans watching at home on ESPNâs race broadcast. âWe are absolutely thrilled to have a talent the likes of Stevie Wonder serving as our Grand Marshal,â said Zucker. âStevie is one of the most influential icons in the world of music who literally has millions of fans across the globe.â One of the most celebrated R&B singer/songwriters of his generation, Wonder first gained national fame when, at the age of 12, and then known as âLittle Stevie Wonder,â his single âFingertips (Pt. II)â topped the pop charts. Over the past four decades he has amassed an astounding 49 Top Forty singles and 32 #1 singles including âSuperstition,â âYou Are The Sunshine Of My Life,â and âSir Duke,â with worldwide sales of over 100 million units. Stevie Wonder is an artist, songwriter and producer who, over the course of his career, has received 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an Academy Award. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the Songwritersâ Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004 he received Billboard Magazineâs Century Award, the publicationâs highest award for creative achievement. Stevie is also beloved for his compassion for humanity and his desire to challenge injustice. In 1983 Stevie spearheaded the realization of “Martin Luther King Day” as a national holiday. Stevieâs passion for helping others includes his participation in the massive 1985 “We Are The World” fundraiser, numerous charitable events benefiting cancer, diabetes, and MS research, as well as being an avid supporter for those with disabilities. Stevieâs Annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert provides toys, clothing, educational products, etc., along with holiday cheer for children and families in need.
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