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Cue the “Stevie Wonder isn’t really blind” conspiracy theorists.
Offering what will no doubt be viewed as new proof by the truthers — who count Shaquille O’Neal among their number — his new collaborator says she takes Zoom meetings with the “Sir Duke” legend.
Rapper Chika had people scratching their heads when she revealed that they used the video chat app for meetings during the pandemic.
But she assured the puzzled crowd that the visual component “was for me, not him,” at a listening party for her debut album, “Samson,” in New York on Wednesday.
Wonder and the Warner Records burgeoning rap star struck up a friendship in 2020 at a time she described as one of her loneliest moments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said Wonder shared stories and personal anecdotes that had her feeling “like he’s my homegirl.”
“I felt like I had my dream taken away from me in the pandemic. One thing that did happen to me was meeting Stevie,” she said during a Q&A with music journalist Peter Berry.
The duo became so close that he even gave her advice beyond the music industry. Case in point, he told her: “‘Before you leave this earth, you need to have a child.’ Me, Chika.”
The “Ribbon In The Sky” singer also made him into a fan. He was so impressed with her music, he asked her to be a part of “Samson,” her new album inspired by the biblical story of Samson and Delilah.
She said that Wonder pulled up to the studio to listen to “Samson” and “after getting to maybe track 18 out of 20, he grabbed my arm and pulled me in, and said, ‘What do you need from me?’”
“Eventually, he was like… ‘I have to be on this record,’” she added. “It was nuts!”
Wonder is featured at the end of the album on the song “Get Here.” Chika described their recording experience as “just two spirits that understand one another and he wanting… to be beside me as I enter this chapter and exit the last one.”
Snoop Dogg and Lin-Manuel Miranda also appear on Chika’s album, out on July 28.
The idea that the “Songs in the Key of Life” hit-maker — who was blinded by complications caused by his premature birth — can really see has been oddly persistent, though often in a tongue-in-cheek way.
In 2010, during a Library of Congress concert by Paul McCartney, Wonder appeared to catch a microphone stand as it began to topple over, in 2016 while presenting a Grammy award he appeared to read the name of the winner from a card, and in 2019 O’Neal told a hilarious story on “NBA on TNT” about running into his neighbor Wonder in the elevator of their L.A. building. “He comes in, says, ‘What’s up, Shaq?’ Presses the [elevator] button,” he claimed.
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