Brow Beat

Stevie Wonder Announces He’s Taking a Break to Undergo a Kidney Transplant

Stevie Wonder playing a synthesizer and singing on a stage decorated with flower arrangements.
Stevie Wonder performing onstage during Nipsey Hussle’s Celebration of Life in Los Angeles in April.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Musician Stevie Wonder will take a break from performing this fall in order to undergo a kidney transplant, according to Metro. Wonder announced the news onstage at the end of his set at the BST Festival (full name: Barclaycard Presents British Summertime Hyde Park) in London. After closing his set with a performance of “Superstition,” the 69-year-old pop legend explained that wanted his fans to hear the news directly from him instead of the rumor mill, emphasizing that he had a donor and expected to be fine:

So what’s going to happen is this. I am going to have surgery. I am going to have a kidney transplant in September of this year. I’m all good. I’m all good, I’m all good. I have a donor, it’s all good. I want you to know, I came here to give you my love and to thank you for your love. You ain’t got to hear no rumors about nothing, I told you what’s up, I’m good, all right? I love you and God bless you.

Here’s the moment where Wonder announced his upcoming surgery, before leaving the stage to cheers and applause:

Rumors that Wonder was undergoing dialysis for kidney failure surfaced in June on Philadelphia DJ Patty Jackson’s YouTube channel, which presumably prompted his on-stage anouncement. Slate devoted an entire week to saluting Wonder’s inimitable musical gifts—from drumming to harmonica playing to that Fozzie Bear voice he sometimes uses—back in 2016. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to one of the country’s greatest artists.