Page last updated at 11:21 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Stevie Wonder to become UN peace messenger

Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder lost his sight shortly after he was born

Grammy award-winning singer Stevie Wonder is to become a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

The UN said he is being recognised for his philanthropic work with various charities. His special mission will be to help people with disabilities.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he is "admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people".

Wonder will be the 11th UN Messenger of Peace, joining actor Michael Douglas and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

Wonder, who lost his sight shortly after he was born, learned to play the harmonica, piano and drums by the age of 9.

Throughout his career he has worked with various charitable organisations including the Employment of People with Disabilities, the Children's Diabetes Foundation and Junior Blind of America.

In February, President Barack Obama presented Wonder with the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The honour is the nation's highest award for pop music.

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