Stevie Wonder is the latest celebrity to be transformed into a cartoon for the animated Blank on Blank interview series. The legendary musician discusses his childhood, his experience with racism and his faith, on the program installment premiering today (Sept. 27).
The episode arrives just a day prior to the 40th anniversary of Stevie Wonder’s 18th studio album Songs in the Keys of Life, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The legendary musical genius meditates on his childhood, as he recalls being dubbed “Nappy Wonder” by The Temptations‘ own Paul Williams, and encountering racism for the first time.
“I think I discovered, y’know, the whole thing of color when I went down south once when my grandmother passed away, and there were some kids — some white kids that lived nearby — and the kids [went] ‘Hey n—-r,'” the “I Wish” singer told interviewer Barney Hoskyns. “I’ve never accepted stupidity and ignorance as making me then determine how good I was, or how less I was.”
After growing up in a Pentecostal church, Stevie’s decision to sing “worldy” music saw much criticism from his church members, but it wasn’t enough to stop the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer from pursing his dreams. “If God didn‘t want me to sing it, he wouldn‘t have given me the talent to do it.”
Watch the full five-minute interview below.