Entertainment Lead Story Music West Edition

Fans, friends pray for Stevie Wonder

LOS ANGELES — Social media is teeming with prayers and well wishes for international music icon Stevie Wonder, who reportedly is suffering from kidney failure and is seeking a transplant.

Although no official word has surfaced about Wonder’s health, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts were brimming with well wishes this week, sparked by a report by WDAS-Radio host Patty Jackson that the music icon was suffering from ill health.

“Prayers going out to singer Stevie Wonder. … He’s currently on dialysis and hoping that one of his children will give him a kidney,” the Philadelphia personality reported on her online show June 25. “He’s been having health problems most of the year.”

Jackson did not identify her source for the report, but many online news publications circulated the account, prompting calls for prayers and well wishes from friends and fans alike.

R&B singer Melba Moore, a longtime friend and colleague of Wonder’s, shared an Instagram post June 30 asking people to pray for the Grammy award-winning artist.

“Keeping Stevie Wonder lifted, every little thing gonna be alright,” Moore’s post said, in part. “We love you Stevie, always and forever.”

Moore’s post declined to say anything specific about Wonder’s condition, causing some fans to challenge Moore’s information. Moore responded by saying that Wonder’s ailing health has “been shared by his family and press,” but provided no details.

Those posts have since been removed.

The reports of Wonder’s ailing health were yet to be confirmed July 2, but experts say early stage kidney failure can be managed through temporary dialysis treatment. Chronic or end-stage kidney failure likely would require permanent dialysis, experts say, unless the patient received a kidney transplant.

Once a matching donor is found, surgery likely would take several months to a year, said a representative from DaVita health care.