Stevie Wonder to Play 'Songs in the Key of Life' in Full - Rolling Stone
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Stevie Wonder to Play ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ in Full

Performance will be part of annual House Full of Toys benefit

Stevie Wonder performs in Las Vegas.Stevie Wonder performs in Las Vegas.

Stevie Wonder performs in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Stevie Wonder will perform his landmark 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life in its entirety for the first time ever as part of his annual House Full of Toys benefit concert at L.A. Live on December 21st. The singer announced his plan today at a press conference for the charity, which helps children in need during the holiday season. Wonder then performed one of the album’s hits, “Sir Duke,” which several attendees caught on video.

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For the past few years, the music icon has performed at the benefit concert. In 2011, the performer oversaw a four-hour marathon that included appearances by Justin Bieber, Drake and host Steve Harvey. It lasted so long, that the singer offered to pay the overtime fees himself, as he went on to play songs like “Higher Ground,” “Sir Duke” and “What Christmas Means to Me.” And last year, despite a sore throat, Wonder dressed in a Santa suit and performed a set that included “Superstition” and “Living in the City,” as well as a cover of Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On.”

He also used his time at the event to advocate for tighter gun laws, following the school shooting last December in Newtown, Connecticut. “I think people can’t think like they’re living in the wild, wild west going into 2013,” he said. “With guns and their accessibilities, there have to be stronger and stricter gun laws.”

At the time, he hinted that he had some new projects in the work. He told Rolling Stone in June that he was working on an album called When the World Began that would find him accompanied by an orchestra. He’s also working on a spiritual record, Gospel Inspired by Lula, in tribute to his mother, as well as another album he’s calling Ten Billion Hearts. He hasn’t revealed release dates for any of these projects.


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