For the first time in his illustrious career, Stevie Wonder will perform his critically-acclaimed No.1 album Songs in the Key of Life in its entirety for his 18th Annual House Full of Toys benefit concert.
“This year’s eighteenth House Full of Toys and I wanted to do something different. Something I’ve never done before in my life,” Stevie announced in a press conference yesterday (October 29). “This year I plan to and I will be doing for the first time ever, in its entirety, the Songs in the Key of Life performance.”
For this special performance, Stevie says he will gather some of the album’s original musicians and singers, plus invite some of today’s most in demand artists to perform the songs with him, though he didn’t divulge any names as of yet.
He also noted that the best part of this performance will be that it benefits those who are in need.
“Most of all, the purpose of it all is raising funds,” he said. “Getting toys for the children, gifts for the older, younger people, and just making it possible for those less fortunate to have a great holiday season.”
Released in 1976, Songs of the Key of Life remains one of Stevie’s best-selling albums of his career, and has spawned numerous top ten hits including “I Wish,” “Sir Duke,” “Another Star” and “As.” The groundbreaking 21-song double album won the GRAMMY award for Album of The Year, plus Stevie earned additional GRAMMYs for Producer of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
For the HFOT performance, Stevie says he plans to play each side of Songs in full before launching into the album’s four-song bonus EP.
He notes the only changes he’ll make to the album’s original layout will be to end the show with “Another Star” instead of the bonus EP’s “Mama’s Call,” because he feels “that song is the right one to do.”
On the reason why he decided to do a full-album performance at this year’s HFOT benefit, Stevie said that he wanted to encourage a more positive influence at a time when our nation has been experiencing a great deal of conflict.
“I think the state of the world. I think that we’re have so many fights, politically, and the things going that need to stop,” he explained. “I think we need to look at having more positive information, more things that allow us to reflect and more things that will really encourage us to come together and celebrate music.”
This will be the seventh year in a row Stevie has served as the host of the House Full of Toys benefit concert, which collects and distributes unwrapped gifts for families in need during the holiday season.
Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys benefit concert takes place on Saturday, Dec. 21st at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.