Entertainment & Arts

Stevie Wonder brings Songs In The Key Of Life tour to UK

Stevie Wonder plays Glastonbury, 2010
Image caption The festival appearance is Stevie Wonder's only UK date for 2016

Stevie Wonder will play his landmark album Songs In The Key Of Life in full in London's Hyde Park this July.

The R&B star is the latest act to be confirmed for the BST festival, which also sees Carole King recreate her Tapestry album, as well as sets from Take That and Kendrick Lamar.

Songs In The Key Of Life features hits like I Wish, Pastime Paradise and As, and won a Grammy for album of the year.

Wonder has been playing it to rave reviews in America since 2014.

Rolling Stone called it "free-spirited, triumphant and huge," while The New York Times described the three-hour show as "a journey of jubilation".

Wonder's 30-piece touring band even features his first daughter Aisha, who inspired the opening track of the album's second disc, Isn't She Lovely.

Image copyright Motown
Image caption Songs In The Key Of Life topped the US Billboard charts for 14 weeks in 1976 and 1977

Released in 1976, but recorded over the previous two years, Songs In The Key Of Life remains Wonder's most ambitious album, incorporating bouncy R&B, gritty funk, mellifluous jazz, gospel chants, Afrobeat, fusion and even Brazilian flourishes.

Spanning 17 tracks (plus an additional four from the simultaneously-released A Something's Extra EP) it aimed to capture the nuance of human existence, encapsulating love, relationships, and searing social commentary.

It topped the US charts for 14 weeks and reached number two in the UK. In 2005, the album was added to the US National Recoding Registry, which recognises recordings that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect life in the United States".

President Obama, Kanye West, Sir Elton John and George Michael have all named it as their favourite record.

"Wherever I go in the world, I always take a copy of Songs In The Key of Life," Sir Elton wrote in Rolling Stone six years ago. "For me, it's the best album ever made and I'm always left in awe after I listen to it."

Wonder will bring his show to the UK for one night only on 10 July, 2016.

Tickets go on sale on Friday, 18 March from 09:00 BST.

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