Stevie Wonder has a special present planned for Detroit's 300th birthday.
The legendary Motown singer will headline the city's free Celebrity Homecoming Concert set for July 21 in downtown Detroit, one of several events Detroit 300 organizers have scheduled in July to celebrate the Motor City's tricentennial.
Wonder who was born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1950, but whose family moved to Detroit when he was 7 years old has long been associated with the city's music scene. He began recording for Detroit's Motown Records as a preteen in the early '60s, scoring a #1 single in 1962 with "Fingertips, Pt. 2."
During his more-than-40-year career, Wonder has cut over 30 albums for Motown, including such classics as Innervisions, Talking Book, Songs in the Key of Life and Hotter Than July.
Wonder's free concert at Hart Plaza on July 21 will highlight the Detroit 300 three-day "Sounds of Detroit" concert series that kicks off July 20. "Touched by an Angel" TV star Della Reese will get everything started with a performance in "Jazz Detroit: Swing, Bop & Beyond," a musical revue that will chart the history and influence of the city's jazz scene.
Additional artists and performers will be added to the bill for Wonder's free show in the next month, according to publicists for Detroit 300. More than a million people are expected to turn out for the weekend "Sounds of Detroit" shows, which conclude on July 22 with a concert by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and an accompanying 800-person choir.