Stevie Wonder announced today that he will perform his landmark album "Songs in the Key of Life" in its entirety at his 18th annual House Full of Toys Benefit Concert. The concert will take place Dec. 21 at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
"This has been a fantasy of mine for a while," said Wonder during a press conference held earlier today at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. "I wanted to do something that would thank everyone for supporting my career and also thank God for me being able to do the music I do. And listening to this album again, it is amazing to me how relevant it is today."
The performance will feature some of the original singers and musicians from the 1976 double-album as well as singers/musicians from the contemporary scene. Without revealing any names at this point, Wonder noted that he is "reaching out and talking to a lot of people." The 21-song project went on to garner several Grammy Awards for Wonder, including album of the year and producer of the year. It is also one of the few albums to be awarded Diamond status by the RIAA for sales of more than 10 million copies in the U.S.
Wonder ended the press conference by treating the assembled media to a mini-concert of several "Life" songs, including "Sir Duke," "As" and "I Wish." Joining him were keyboardist Greg Phillinganes and percussionist Munyungo Jackson.
This marks the seventh year that the Nokia Theater will host Wonder's House Full of Toys benefit, which collects and distributes unwrapped toys and gifts for people in need. Tickets go on sale this Friday, Nov. 1 at AXS.com.
Watch a live performance of a pair of "Songs" classics: