Stevie Wonder is one of the most talented musicians as evidenced by 25 Grammy wins and 74 nominations. Stevie started his music career when he was just 11 years old, and by the time he was 13, he had already achieved having a song in the Billboard Hot 100 charts (via Grammy). Stevie Wonder’s voice is easily recognizable, and he has also proved his musical prowess by playing a number of instruments. Many also know the singer for his signature sunglasses that have become part of his persona.
It’s a known fact that Stevie Wonder wears sunglasses because he is blind, but there are conspiracy theorists who believe otherwise and say that the singer has just been pretending to be blind for some reason (via Esquire). A blog called Bold Symmetry has listed down the things that would “prove” the conspiracy theory. In a video clip of the singer’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” Stevie is seen catching a microphone stand that almost toppled over near him. Conspiracy theorists say that if he really was blind, he wouldn’t have had the lightning reflexes to catch the stand. Another reason given is that Stevie often attends NBA games live and sits by the courtside, seemingly watching the action behind his sunglasses. Deadspin also provided photos of Stevie taking a picture with a digital camera, as well as reaching out to someone in a one-sided hug while singing.
Steve Wonder is, indeed, blind
Steve Wonder has been blind since he was a baby, but he wasn’t born that way. He was a premature baby born six weeks before his due date, which required him to be incubated, per Meaww. He was exposed to high oxygen levels during his time in the incubator which resulted in Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and caused him to lose his eyesight. According to the National Eye Institute, ROP is fairly common in premature babies and can affect both eyes. Although the majority of infants with ROP have a mild case that can improve in time, there are some who develop severe ROP that may lead to irreversible partial or complete blindness.
Stevie Wonder talked about his condition in an interview with Oprah and said that the doctor who treated him when he was born did not have the information available now regarding how much oxygen to give premature babies. In fact, he said another premature baby that was born the same day as he was died because of excess oxygen levels. However, Stevie said that he has no bitterness toward the doctor as what he did wasn’t intentional. As Stevie grew up, he learned to do things without having his eyesight and just relied on his other senses. Although he is always seen wearing sunglasses, he once removed them during his induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 (via Suggest), and both eyes appeared to be severely impaired.
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