Standing on His Own
A New Contract And New Fame
In August 1975, Stevie signed a new seven-year contract with Motown. Stevie was guaranteed $13 million. This was another huge deal that broke records in the music business. The first album recorded under the new contract was Songs in the Key of Life. Critics didn't like this double album, but it hit number one on the U.S. charts. In March 1976, Stevie won another five Grammy Awards, one for Best Album of the Year. Stevie Wonder was a household name now, in homes of many different races.
Stevie also began to spend much more time with Yolanda and young Aisha. Stevie felt that he needed to be with Aisha while she was young. He wanted to enjoy his daughter's youth and childhood. That enjoyment doubled when his son, Keita Sawandi (an African name meaning “worshipper” and “founder”), was born on April 16, 1977.
Stevie worked in the studio on projects and new songs for the next three years. In 1979, he released Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. The songs were a collection of symphonic pieces. This album did not sell well at all. Stevie went on tour for the first time in five years. The tour was also a failure. Stevie tried to make his fans understand where he was coming from: “The true meaning of an artist is to be expressive of his art and to be innovative … When I listen to my work and I realize that certain things are too out there, too abstract, I try to make it so that everyone will be able to understand it whether they're young or old.” Stevie did not plan on being forgotten by the public.