Legendary Musician Stevie Wonder Applauds R&B Singer Ari Lennox’s Talent, But Fans Believe He Was Shooting His Shot

Ari Lennox is currently on the promotional trail for her new album age/sex/location. The project is inspired by the popular question used in the days of America Online chatrooms when you did not have pictures or profiles and had to simply tell people who you were and where you were from. The project was released to some critical acclaim and had some of Ari’s heroes singing her praises, including Stevie Wonder. 

Her album debuted at #69 on the billboard 200 and produced her first solo charting record; the Jermaine Dupri produced “Pressure” earlier this year. The song currently has over 29 million streams on Spotify. Her only other single to chart was the Summer Walker duet “Unloyal.” The project features an extended list of features, including Chloe Bailey, Lucky Daye, and a second duet with Summer Walker titled “Queen Space.” That record is currently the second most streamed song on the album, a testament to the duo’s chemistry and appeal together. “@IAMSUMMERWALKER nobody compares to your gentle slayage I love you, sister. You’re Phenomenal,” she Tweeted on release day. 

MNEK appears as a writer, while J. Cole contributes some secret backgrounds to “POF.” She thanked him as well, saying, “.@JColeNC you a real ass n thank you for your production and writing and for singing your heart out on POF. and thank you for your sweet insightful words of encouragement.”

Pitchfork gave the album a 7.7 out of 10 and commended Ari for her “crisp, velvety soprano” and “amorous flair” that beckons back to a “rich lineage of Black women neo-soul artists of the 1990s and early ’00s.” Ari called the project her “transitional space before my current eat pray love journey,” referring to the famous Julia Roberts film where she divorces her husband to travel the world and find herself.  While doing her press run, Ari sat with musical icon Stevie Wonder at KJLH.

Stevie was well-versed in Ari’s music and delivered a series of compliments that left the singer humbled and honored all at the same time. Stevie complimented her voice, telling her how much he appreciated her vocals, calling her voice “incredible.” He goes on to say that he likes her energy and appreciates the innuendos she works into her music which got Ari to laugh. 

He then changed the topic and asked her, “who you gonna marry?” This broke out the entire studio into laughter as Ari proclaimed how hard dating had been for her. “It’s hard out here in these streets!” He then asked, “well, who are you in love with?” which promoted one of the interviews to say, “the music!” Ari decides to shout out her pet dogs and admits she’s in love with them. Stevie responds, “Am I your dog?” before barking and laughing. 

While many found the moment sweet, some thought this was Stevie trying to shoot his shot at Ari. However, one person summed it up by saying, “Lol Awwww, such a wholesome moment. When you’re too good, old people always want to know who you’re going to marry. Like dang, who is going to be lucky enough to bag you for life.”

About John Davidson

John Davidson is a California native who enjoys hip hop music, skiing and traveling international. Davidson graduated from USC majoring in Journalism.

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