The legendary Stevie Wonder turns 71 today, and in honor of the inspiration his legacy has brought to millions, Tulsa Native Majeste Pearson is inviting the city of Tulsa to join her for a night of celebration as she performs a tribute to the iconic singer from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Tulsa Botanic Garden.
The tribute is entitled, “Happy Birthday Stevie!” “We Just Had To Say We Love You.” In honor of Stevie’s special day, Majeste and the Wise Men Band will perform Stevie’s greatest hits. Tulsa artist Eddy K will paint a portrait of Stevie while listening to Majeste sing his songs. Meanwhile, Written Quincey will present a spoken word performance inspired by Stevie’s life and music. The first 71 guest to enter will receive a birthday cup cake from Kupcakz.
A local legend
Majeste Pearson is the daughter of Bishop Carlton Pearson, whose story was developed into a feature film on Netflix called “Come Sunday.” She officially made her TV debut last year on Fox’s hit competition series “The Four: Battle for Stardom.”
She also performed at the Primetime Emmys Governors Ball a few years earlier.
“To be given the platform to perform at the Emmys Governors Ball is a dream come true!” Pearson said in 2019. “I dreamed about moments like this since I was 5 years old while singing to my stuffed animals. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to shine before an audience of award winners and nominees.”
The Jenks High School alum has also established a career on Broadway, becoming the youngest female vocalist to be cast in the revival of “Rocktopia.” She even received a two-year scholarship to the New York Film Academy’s professional conservatory of musical theater.
Tribute to Stevie Wonder
Majeste’s tribute to Stevie Wonder is her way of saying thank you and giving flowers to the man who used his life and music to lift a hurting world to higher ground. She’s also grateful that he gave her a chance to sing with him on stage at the Hard Rock Casino in 2018.
Stevie Wonder’s influence on popular music as a singer, songwriter, musician and producer is unparalleled. At the age of 12, he was the youngest recording artist to have achieved a No. 1 single with “Fingertips, Part 2.” To date, he has amassed 32 No. one singles and 49 Top Forty singles including “My Cherie Amour,” “Superstition,” “Isn’t She Lovely,” “Sir Duke,” “Signed, Sealed and Delivered I’m Yours” and “I Just Called To Say I Love You” among many others. His worldwide sales have reached more than 100 million units and he is the winner of 25 Grammy Awards, the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
As an activist, Stevie also spearheaded the realization of “Martin Luther King Day” as a national holiday. His participation in the “We Are The World” fundraiser for hunger in Africa was a music industry milestone, while his involvement to put an end to apartheid in South Africa is recognized worldwide. He’s the youngest recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and is a Commander of France’s National Order of Arts and Letters.
A living legend
Stevie was awarded the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and performed his commission, “Sketches of a Life,” which placed him in a very select group of eminent composers who have received library commissions, including Aaron Copeland, Leonard Bernstein and Paquito D’Rivera.
He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and he is a designated U.N. Messenger of Peace with special focus on persons with disabilities. He continues to be a pivotal influence in U.S. and world events, demonstrating the activism that has made him such a vital voice for social progress and world harmony.
Humbled by the opportunity, Pearson also credits Tulsa artists who have motivated and influenced her throughout her career. “I’m inspired by artists like Branjae, who I grew up watching and learning from,” Pearson said. “She continues to be a force in this community and her star power has inspired me to be myself, be free, and be a powerful black voice in my community. She calls me Tulsa’s Whitney Houston!” Pearson also looks towards other notable and established Oklahoma artists in the music industry as a reminder to simply be herself.
“Seeing Oklahoma stars like Kristen Chenowith rock the musical theatre world, Carrie Underwood conquer the country charts and Esther Dean rock it as a well known producer and song writer has taught me to stay true to my roots, and be proud of where I come from,” Pearson said. “I will continue to do just that through my music.”‘