Stevie Wonder Honored with the Global Green Hero Award: 'We Have to Love Our Planet'

"We have to make sure that we can sustain the planet," the singer said at the 13th Annual Global Green USA Pre-Oscar party

Photo: Lester Cohen/Getty

He still wants you to be the “Sunshine” of his life and the “Apple” of his eye, but Stevie Wonder also wants you to be more aware of your carbon footprint, viable solar power and sustainable farming.

The music icon performed a rousing nine-song set of his greatest hits at the 13th Annual Global Green USA Pre-Oscar party last Wednesday and brought his youngest sons along.

“We have to love our planet, we have to want to make it more green,” the star told PEOPLE, with sons Kailand and Mandla standing at his side. “We have to make sure that we can sustain the planet and make sure that people are able to survive as it has always been meant to be.”

The 65-year-old Michigan native, who had the entire room up on their feet and dancing during his performance, also pointed out that climate change and its environmental impact are issues that he has always been invested in.

“I’ve always been passionate about it but obviously as time has gone and I’ve been blessed to live some minutes in life, I’ve had the opportunity to see the changes in the weather,” he said. “And to those who think that in a normal climate … when it’s the reverse to what it’s supposed to be, then there’s something wrong with them.”

At the close of the evening, Wonder, who was joined onstage by his two sons, was presented with The Global Green Hero Award, which he in turn presented back to his sons as a gesture to “encourage their generation to care about the planet.”

When the musician, who had left it all on stage, was begged by the crowd for an encore, he flashed his famous wit as he quipped, “I’m gonna roll out and get me some red wine. I’m not driving so it’s all good.”

Wonder then donated his just-used harmonica to Global Green to auction off, adding, “One that has a lot of spit in it, so you can raise money for a good cause.”

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