Stevie Wonder is singing a new tune. Okay, not literally, but he has just taken on a new role: UN Messenger of Peace.
Blind since birth, Wonder will support the United Nations’ work, specifically to advocate for people with disabilities, through planned public appearances, interaction with international media, and humanitarian work.
The winner of 25 Grammy awards, Wonder may be best known for his singer-songwriter career. But he has long been an activist — spearheading the campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a holiday in the U.S., advocating for ending apartheid in South Africa, as well as writing and performing songs to benefit humanitarian issues.
Wonder is the latest of the celebrity UN Messengers of Peace — there are 11 in total — including George Clooney (peacekeeping), Michael Douglas (disarmament), and Charlize Theron (ending violence against women).
“I recognize that he has consistently used his voice and special relationship with the public to create a better and more inclusive world, to defend civil and human rights and to improve the lives of those less fortunate,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.