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Stevie Wonder backup singer Keith John hospitalized

Susan Whitall
The Detroit News

Detroit singer Keith John, a key part of Stevie Wonder’s live show for more than 25 years, is hospitalized in Houston after suffering a medical issue at his hotel.

Wonder announced John’s absence from the stage at his Houston “Songs in the Key of Life” concert Friday at the city’s Toyota Center. The Motown legend asked the audience to pray for John, who has been his only male backup singer for more than two decades.

John’s brother Kevin John flew to Houston to be with his brother and reports that he was feeling much better Sunday. “He’s talking and he’s singing — standards!” Kevin said. “I sang with him so he’d keep going.” The family didn’t want to go into medical details, but Keith wasn’t unconscious when he was found — he was dizzy and unwell, his brother said.

Doctors are treating the singer successfully, although he’ll probably be in the hospital for several more days. Known as very fit, and a health nut, Keith sings but also does quite a bit of athletic dancing on stage, and his brother believes that he needs to rest a bit more.

During a break last month from the “Songs in the Key of Life” tour, John didn’t rest, but took the time to fly to Europe, where he was busy recording and producing.

The John brothers are the sons of Little Willie John, the famed R&B singer from Detroit, known for such hits as “Fever” and “Talk to Me, Talk to Me.” Keith and Kevin John also recorded for RCA Records as “The John Brothers,” and for Wonder, as a duo.

swhitall@detroitnews.com

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