Stevie Wonder Announces Break from Music To Undergo Kidney Transplant

(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Art of Elysium)

Legendary musician and singer Stevie Wonder announced during a performance Saturday in London that he’s canceling his tour and taking a hiatus to undergo a kidney transplant surgery.

“So what’s gonna happen is this, I’m going to have surgery, I’m 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,” Wonder said. “I want you to know I came here to give you my love and to thank you for your love. You ain’t gotta hear no rumors about nothing, I told you what’s up. I’m good. All right?”

This news comes after months of rumors circulating around the internet that Wonder had been battling “a serious health issue” and has been touring overseas with a medical team. He put all those rumors to bed when he told the truth himself.

A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to place a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor into a person whose kidneys no longer function properly.

When your kidneys lose this filtering ability, harmful levels of fluid and waste accumulate in your body, which can raise your blood pressure and result in kidney failure (end-stage kidney disease). End-stage renal disease occurs when the kidneys have lost about 90% of their ability to function normally.

Common causes of end-stage kidney disease include:

– Diabetes
– Chronic, uncontrolled high blood pressure
– Chronic glomerulonephritis — an inflammation and eventual scarring of the tiny filters within your kidneys (glomeruli)
– Polycystic kidney disease

People with end-stage renal disease need to have waste removed from their bloodstream via a machine (dialysis) or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

Only one donated kidney is needed to replace two failed kidneys, making living-donor kidney transplantation an option.

But this isn’t the first time that Stevie has been through some sort of health scare. It was 1973 when he was in a near-fatal car accident. The sedan in which he was traveling careened into a truck. His wounds were severe. He permanently lost his sense of smell and temporarily lost his sense of taste.

“It was on 6 August that I almost died in that car accident,” he recalls. It was a key date for another reason. “It was also on 6 August – 1988 – that my son Kwame was born. Life is funny.”

Does the crash remain the most significant event of his life?

“It is significant,” he explains. “I was blessed to come out of it. God gave me life to continue to do things that…