The night Stevie Wonder sang Happy 40th Birthday at Glastonbury Festival

Stevie Wonder’s set of timeless first-class soul songs provided an inspiring finale for the 40th anniversary celebrations of the world’s favorite festival in 2010.

It was one of those “I was there” moments, whether you were, like me, dancing and singing your heart out amid the massive crowd in a hot, dusty field at Worthy Farm, or watching the cover BBC close-up from your living room sofa.

Stevie was the glorious Sunday night headliner on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on June 27, ending a sunny and rainless experience, with temperatures reaching as high as 27C at one point.

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Arriving on stage with a keytar slung around his neck, the Motown legend said his set would not only celebrate 40 years of Glastonbury, but also the life of superstar Michael Jackson, who died exactly one year and two days earlier. .

Stevie Wonder took to the stage with a keytar strung around his neck to launch his Glastonbury title in 2010

There were around 135,000 ticket holders at the festival in 2010 and two-thirds were crammed outside the Pyramid Stage that night. Bodies swaying reached the hill as far as the eye could see as the sun set on an incredible weekend – from babies in arms, toddlers and teenagers, to grandmothers and grandfathers, and between of them.

There can’t be many festival-goers who haven’t been blown away by Stevie’s tight, polished and cheerful set. My Glastonbury mate Clare and I were there proudly singing every beautiful word and joining in the deafening roars and shouts of appreciation between numbers.

And then there was that heartwarming moment right at the end when Michael Eavis took the stage to duet with Stevie as he disconnected with a long and rather wonky version of Happy Birthday. Unforgettable indeed!

Face in the crowd - artwork by Stevie Wonder during a hot and sunny Glastonbury 2010
Face in the crowd – artwork by Stevie Wonder during a hot and sunny Glastonbury 2010

This was Stevie Wonder’s full set list at Glastonbury: My Eyes Don’t Cry; Master Blaster (Jammin’); Stevie’s familiar cover of The Beatles’ We Can Work It Out; As if you read my thoughts; If you really love me; higher ground; Don’t worry about a thing; Live for the city; The Human Nature of Michael Jackson; Tense (All is well); For once in my life; Fingertips (Part 2) – his first hit for Motown recorded when he was just 11 years old; Signed, sealed and delivered, I am yours; Monsieur the Duke; I just called to tell you that I love you; Superstition; Free and happy birthday.

Were you in the crowd for Stevie Wonder’s set in 2010? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Jan G. Gilbert