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5. The Girl My Heart Beats For

Stevie Wonder and SyreetaAlthough he stood six feet and towered over most disc jockeys and fans, people found it hard to drop the word Little from Little Stevie Wonder. A major factor in helping people to drop Little from his name was his marriage to Syreeta Wright in September of 1970. I met Syreeta when Don Hunter and I were working together. After hearing her voice, I thought she could do a particular song. She was working in the arranging department of Motown. Brian Holland had discovered her also. We became very good friends, a love at first sight. She was older than I, but I was determined to get her. As his adolescence came to an end, Wonder took charge of his career. By the time of Signed, Sealed & Delivered, he was virtually self-sufficient in the studio, serving as his own producer and arranger, playing most of the instruments himself, and writing material with his wife, Syreeta Wright. In this phase, he scored three more hit singles: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours, Heaven Help Us All, and Never Had A Dream Come True.

His next album Where I'm Comin' From, was the last album he would make under his original two five-year contracts with Motown. Where I'm Comin' From may have been Stevie's indirect way of telling executives at Motown what they did not want to hear. Stevie later spoke to Rolling Stone magazine about the album: That was kinda premature to some extent, but I wanted to express myself . A lot of it now I'd probably remix. Never Dreamed You 'd Leave In Summer came from that album, and If You Really Love Me . . . but it's nothin' like the things I write now. I love gettin' into just as much weird shit as possible. But weird music was not acceptable at Motown then.
Stevie Wonder on drums
After Where I'm Comin' From, Steve did not cut any more records until he turned twenty-one and was eligible for the money that had been held in trust for him. More importantly, his contract with Motown ran out and he said he was through with them. They were upset at first, he says, speaking cautiously in deliberate understatement, but they began to understand--later. Whatever peak I had reached doing that kind of music, I had reached. It was important for them to understand we were going nowhere.

When he reached his 21st birthday in 1971 Motown threw a party for him. However the next morning Berry Gordy was surprised to receive a letter from Stevie's lawyer cutting ties with Motown. At this time he was eligible to received the money due to him that accumulated while a minor; despite earning over $30 million, he received only $1 million.

By now his life became affected by different realizations. I realized that there are things that do happen within the business. You must deal with originality to a certain degree, commercialism to a certain degree, but again, all of it has a proper balance.