“I’m going to tell you something. I’ve been spending my whole life with him thinking he can see. I know he can see,” the American Idol judge, 70, said on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Wednesday, December 11. “Listen [to] the story I tell that’s the funniest. I went to his house. He says, ‘Wanna hear a new song? I’ve got it in the car. C’mon, go with me.’”
According to Richie’s recollection, Wonder, 69, walked out to his car with him and said, “You sit on the passenger side, I’ll sit on the driver’s side.” They did just that, but then something unexpected happened.
“He cranks the car up, he puts the tape in, right? And then he does this [turns around] and starts driving back down the driveway,” the “All Night Long” singer recounted. “And I screamed, ‘Stevie! What are you doing?’ And he said, ‘Ah, got you, didn’t I?’”
The musicians have been friends for decades after meeting at a Commodores concert at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City. They famously recorded the 1985 charity single “We Are the World” alongside Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Ray Charles, among others.
“I would hate to get around him because every time I would get around him, I would not want to give a phrase to him because he’ll write a song with it,” Richie said on Kelly Clarkson’s syndicated talk show.
The “Isn’t She Lovely” singer has only had kind words for his friend over the years too.
“He’s a great songwriter, a great musician and most of all a great human being,” Wonder told Access Hollywood in 2016 at MusiCares’ Person of the Year ceremony. “The truth of the matter is that we are honoring a man who was part of the duo who wrote a song that changed the world [‘We Are the World’]. We all came together in the spirit of love and doing something to make a difference. It literally woke the world up, through the idea and concept of giving back to our fellow man.”
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