Today’s song won the Oscar for Best Original Song in the film “The Woman in Red”, beating out "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)," "Footloose," "Let's Hear It For The Boy" and "Ghostbusters." All five nominees were #1 hits on the Hot 100, the only time that has happened.
In October 1985, two songwriters, one of whom was a childhood friend of today’s singer, filed a lawsuit claiming they wrote a song called "Hello It's Me/I Just Called to Say" in September 1976 that they played for today’s artist who then stole the title and chorus idea.
In his testimony, he claimed he wrote the chorus to today’s song while returning home from a visit to his mother in July of 1976, two months earlier.
It dragged on, but finally, in 1990, a jury ruled in favor of today’s Motown legend but the lawsuit created some problems with his Oscar win, as only songs written specifically for the films were eligible.
Because he had to officially disclose that he wrote much of this song way back in 1976, nine years before the film, that put that eligibility in doubt, but oddly, no action was taken and he kept the award.
This is the best-selling single worldwide for this artist, and also one of his most maligned. The song is about a guy who calls his special someone with a simple message of love. It's very sweet, but to many, it crossed over to sickly-sweet.
Known for cutting edge funk for much of his career, he had moved to a more middle-of-the-road, adult contemporary sound when he released the song. His early hits like "Superstition" and "Higher Ground" were beloved by a segment of his fans, but in the '80s, songs like this one and "Part-Time Lover" had a smoother sound, resulting in big hits, but disappointment for those hoping for his classic groove.
Jack Black had a memorable moment in the movie “High Fidelity” as a snarky record store clerk who mocks a dad trying to buy this song for his daughter’s birthday
Today’s artist stood by the song, often playing it at live shows throughout his career.
Stevie Wonder...I Just Called To Say I Love You...I Know That Song!
PS: I LOVE Stevie Wonder, his Talking Book album is one of my all time favorites. He's my second favorite Stevie because, well, Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal.