First listen: Stevie Wonder leaves Motown, drops 2 songs on new label calling for love, unity

DETROIT — Stevie Wonder released two new songs Tuesday and announced that he has formed his own label, signaling a break from the iconic Motown Records that signed him in 1961, when he was only 11 years old.

The two songs – “Where Is Our Love Song” and “Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate” – represent the debut tracks for Wonder’s So What the Fuss Records, which will be marketed and distributed by Universal Music Group’s Republic Records, CNN reported.

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According to the Detroit Free Press, Wonder’s label name was inspired by his 2005 collaboration with Prince, and he told reporters during a Zoom news conference that the debut tracks may eventually become part of a full-length album featuring various artists. Republic represents the likes of Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Post Malone.

“Even though I have left Motown, I never leave Motown,” Wonder, 70, said. “That’s Detroit, so I’m sure that we can figure out how we can do some things at Motown.”

“Can’t Put It in The Hands of Fate” features Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes, while “Where Is Our Love Song” features Gary Clark Jr. Wonder is donating the proceeds from the latter single to Feeding America.

“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,” Wonder said in a prepared statement.

According to the Free Press, Wonder released more than two dozen albums and charted nearly 50 Top 40 hits with Motown Records and its affiliated labels during his nearly 60-year career.

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