Sir Duke (3:54)

Cover of The Definitive Collection

From The Definitive Collection and 62 other releases

“Sir Duke” is a song composed and performed by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. The track topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles charts, and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart, his biggest hit there at the time. It also reached #1 in the United World Chart.

The song was written about Duke Ellington, the great jazz artist who influenced Wonder’s style. Ellington died in 1974 and the song was a tribute. The lyrics also refer to Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

The artists, apart from Stevie Wonder, who perform on the original version were: Raymond Pounds (drums), Nathan Watts (bass), Mike Sembello (lead guitar), Ben Bridges (rhythm guitar), Hank Redd (alto saxophone), Trevor Laurence (tenor saxophone), Raymond Maldonado (trumpet), and Steve Madaio (trumpet).

Wonder rerecorded the song for the live album Natural Wonder.

In the early to mid-1990s, “Sir Duke” was played during the NBA’s New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden.

“Sir Duke” is featured in the Derrick Comedy sketch “Progressions of a Mad Hatter”.

“Sir Duke” was also played at the 2004 Democratic National Convention after the Presidential nomination acceptance speech of John Kerry and John Edwards.


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