Stevie Wonder To Receive Kennedy Center Honor, Prepares Box Set

It's been a long time since "Fingertips Parts 1 & 2."

That's the song that started Stevie Wonder's career at the age of twelve, back in 1963. Unlike many other child stars, though, Wonder was able to follow up his early successes, time and time again.

Because of his contributions to popular music, as well as his political activism -- he spent great time and effort campaigning for the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national holiday -- Wonder will be among those receiving the Kennedy Center Honor next month in Washington, DC. Wonder will be the youngest person ever to receive the accolade. Also being honored this year are comedian-pianist Victor Borge, actor Sean Connery, dancer-teacher Judith Jamison, and actor Jason Robards.

The ceremony will be broadcast as a two-hour prime time special on CBS later in December.

In other Stevie Wonder news, the singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist's hits will all be rounded up in the four

CD box set, "Stevie Wonder: At The Close Of A Century."

The 70-song collection starts with his first number 1 hit, 1963's "Fingertips Parts 1 & 2" and goes all the way up to "How Come, How Long," his 1996 collaboration with Babyface from Babyface's "The Day" album.

Although the compilation doesn't contain the unreleased gems included in many other box sets, it still boasts a track list packed with hits, including "Uptight (Everything's Alright)," "A Place In The Sun," "I Was Made To Love Her," "Superstition," "I Just Called To Say I Love You," and many others. Also included on the box are "Higher Ground," which was covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and "Pastime Paradise," sampled by Coolio in his hit "Gangsta's Paradise."

"Stevie Wonder: At The Close Of A Century" will be in stores on November 23.