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Stevie Wonder Talks Upcoming Symphonic, Gospel Albums

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Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder (ARI VERSIANI/AFP/Getty Images)

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Stevie Wonder discussed a couple of upcoming albums on Saturday night (June 22), as mingled with fellow musicians at the Hollywood Bowl Opening Night Gala Saturday (June 22), where he inducted pal John Legend into the venue’s hall of fame and revealed details on some upcoming projects.

Among the projects is upcoming effort Ten Billion Hearts, which will feature a symphony orchestra and remakes of some of his classic hits, like “Isn’t She Lovely.”

It is a lot of things that I have done, old material, but doing it a different way,” he told Rolling Stone, who interviewed him backstage. I’m going to do about three or four new songs as well. We did ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ with the orchestra and I wrote another verse to it. This is just another interpretation, and we did the arrangement a little differently and it turned out really, really good. I’m really excited about it.”

He added that he’d be up to return to the Los Angeles venue as a headliner in 2014 to support his forthcoming albums, which also include a gospel album dedicated to his late mother.

“Gospel Inspired By Lula, [is] a gospel album I’m doing in tribute to my mother,” Wonder said in the interview. “I promised her I would do it. She always wanted me to do it before she passed away, the untimely passing away. We’ve been working on some songs and some ideas. So we’re going to complete that as well.”

Wonder emphasized that he hopes to spread the word of gospel to all his fans, regardless of faith or religion, and even intends to perform a song in Arabic.

“I’m going to twist it all up in different ways, because I think everyone needs to hear the word of the gospel,” he said. “The word of gospel really is love and it really is about people following the word, whether they read the Quran, the Torah or the Bible, whatever they read. At the end of the day, whatever you read, you know the god you believe in talking about people loving one another. It’s not about the religion – it’s about the relationship that you have with the one you serve and you worship.”

Wonder did not confirm release dates for any of the albums, but said fans can expect to hear the new music “soon.”

“All of these are coming out relatively soon, but I never put a time on things, because the most important thing is that it’s good.”

The efforts will be Wonder’s first releases of original material since his 2005 album A Time to Love.

- Nee-Sa Lossing, Radio.com

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