Musician Stevie Wonder at the Stream TIDAL X: Brooklyn Benefit Concert at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 17, 2017 in New York. Wonder, along with Jennifer Hudson and Faith Hill, will sing at the funeral of Aretha Franklin in Detroit on Aug. 31. (AFP/Angela Weiss)
Stevie Wonder on Tuesday released two new singles appealing for unity amid the challenges of systemic racism and the coronavirus pandemic, and said he would donate 100 percent of the proceeds of one of them to the non-profit Feeding America.
"Where Is Our Love Song" and "Can't Put It In the Hands of Fate", are songs Wonder, 70, said he had started writing years ago about romantic relationships but was inspired to give them a different twist by the tumultuous events of the past year.
"If I can do anything to use the gift of song to help to feed people, to share my love... it is my joy," the singer-songwriter told a video news conference, referring to "Where Is Our Love Song".
"In these times, we are hearing the most poignant wake-up calls and cries for this nation and the world to, please, heed our need for love, peace and unity," he said.
Wonder began his career as an 11-year-old and later used his 1980 song "Happy Birthday" to campaign for the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday to be made a US national holiday.
The 25-time Grammy winner said on Tuesday that "Can't Put It In the Hands of Fate" was inspired by street protests against social injustice, the search for a coronavirus vaccine and the right to vote.
"Where Is Our Love Song" was written in response to "all the confusion and hate, all the east versus west, left versus right" in contemporary America, he said.
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