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Today is Stevie Wonder's 65th birthday, a milestone for one of the single most influential musicians of any era in history. The iconic singer and songwriter has been making music for more than 50 years, first signing to Motown as a pre-teen in the early 1960s as a child prodigy before charting a career that is one of the most successful and important regardless of genre. But hip-hop has always had a special place in its heart for Stevie and his funk/soul heart; along with his funk brethren, he's one of the most sampled and referenced artists in the rap game, with everyone from Coolio to Busta Rhymes to Drake to Snoop Dogg calling on Stevie to provide the backbone to their music.

As Wonder celebrates his 65th year influencing and shaping the musical landscape, XXL looks back at 20 classic Stevie Wonder songs and some of the best hip-hop tracks that sampled them. Happy birthday, Stevie. Keep on turnin'. —Dan Rys


"That Girl"

Year: 1981

Hip-Hop Song: "So Many Tears"
Artist: 2pac
Year: 1995

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"Part Time Lover"

Year: 1985

Hip-Hop Song: "So Amazing"
Artist: 50 Cent featuring Olivia
Year: 2005


"Sir Duke"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Footprints"
Artist: A Tribe Called Quest
Year: 1990

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"For Once In My Life"

Year: 1968

Hip-Hop Song: "Dreamer"
Artist: Action Bronson
Year: 2012

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Tibetan Freedom Concert 1999

"Boogie On Reggae Woman"

Year: 1974

Hip-Hop Song: "33% God/Dis Yourself '89 (Just Do It)"
Artist: Beastie Boys
Year: 1989

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Year: 1987

Hip-Hop Song: "Mister Cee's Master Plan"
Artist: Big Daddy Kane
Year: 1988

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"Higher Ground"

Year: 1973

Hip-Hop Song: "The World Is A Ghetto"
Artist: BJ The Chicago Kid featuring Kendrick Lamar
Year: 2012


"Isn't She Lovely?"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Thankful"
Artist: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony featuring Stevie Wonder
Year: 2009

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"Love's In Need Of Love Today"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "One"
Artist: Busta Rhymes featuring Erykah Badu
Year: 1997

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The Falls Festival In Lorne

"Pastime Paradise"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Gangsta's Paradise"
Artist: Coolio featuring L.V.
Year: 1995

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The 2012 Crunchies

"Rocket Love"

Year: 1980

Hip-Hop Song: "Cold World"
Artist: GZA featuring Inspectah Deck
Year: 1995

Tommy Boy Records


"Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours"

Year: 1970

Hip-Hop Song: "Put On Your Shitkickers"
Artist: House Of Pain
Year: 1992

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"My Cherie Amour"

Year: 1969

Hip-Hop Song: "Love Me Not"
Artist: J. Cole
Year: 2010

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Days Like This Festival


Year: 1972

Hip-Hop Song: "Watch Yo Nuggets"
Artist: Redman featuring Erick Sermon
Year: 1992

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"Have A Talk With God"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Conversations"
Artist: Snoop Dogg featuring Stevie Wonder
Year: 2006

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"Maybe Your Baby"

Year: 1972

Hip-Hop Song: "Cheeba Cheeba"
Artist: Tone Loc
Year: 1989

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"All I Do"

Year: 1980

Hip-Hop Song: "The Break Up Song"
Artist: Wale
Year: 2010


"Village Ghetto Land"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Ghetto Village"
Artist: Warren G
Year: 2001

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"I Wish"

Year: 1976

Hip-Hop Song: "Wild Wild West"
Artist: Will Smith featuring Dru Hill and Kool Moe Dee
Year: 1999

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"Living For The City"

Year: 1973

Hip-Hop Song: "The City"
Artist: Wu-Tang Clan
Year: 1997

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Mac Miller Covers Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?” [Video]