During an interview with the magazine, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said his upcoming gospel album is a tribute of his late mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, who is credited as a co-writer on many of his classic hits including “I Was Made to Love Her” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”
“I promised her I would do it,” he said. “She always wanted me to do it before she passed away, the untimely passing away. We’ve been working on some songs and some ideas.”
Although the project will include traditional tunes, Wonder said he wants the music to cross religious lines.
“We’re going to do some traditional gospel stuff, but I’m thinking about doing a gospel song in Arabic. I’m going to twist it all up in different ways, because I think everyone needs to hear the word of the gospel,” he said. “The word of gospel really is love and it really is about people following the word, whether they read the Quran, the Torah or the Bible, whatever they read. At the end of the day, whatever you read, you know the God you believe in talking about people loving one another.”
He added, “It’s talking about we don’t need millions of handguns to make an understanding clear. It’s not about the religion – it’s about the relationship that you have with the one you serve and you worship.”
The “Isn’t She Lovely” singer is a busy man these days. Along with Gospel Inspired By Lula, he’s working on two additional albums: 10 Billion Hearts and When the World Began, a collaboration with producer David Foster and a symphony orchestra.
“All of these are coming out relatively soon, but I never put a time on things, because the most important thing is that it’s good,” he said. “Hopefully we get it the way it feels good to me, and in the case of the one I’m working on with David, both he and myself feel good about it.”