Music Legend Announces to Fans That He’s Getting a Kidney Transplant

July 09, 2019, 9:16am EDT

World-renowned musician Stevie Wonder, 69, announced to his fans attending a concert in London on July 7 that he will soon be receiving a kidney transplant.
More than 100,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney transplant right now. Thousands of successful organ and tissue transplants take place each year. Kidney and corneal transplants are the most common. The majority of organs and tissues are donated at the time of death and then matched with people on the transplant waiting list. Donated organs are matched with individuals on the waiting list according to factors that include blood and tissue types, medical need, length of time waiting, and geography.
NKF is working to reduce the number of donated kidneys from deceased donors that go unused by advocating for improvements to the transplant system. Kidneys can also be donated by a living person with two healthy kidneys, since the body can usually function normally with just one kidney. A kidney from a living donor provides the best outcomes for people with kidney failure.
“On behalf of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), I would like to extend our heartfelt support to musician Stevie Wonder, as he faces an upcoming kidney transplant,” said NKF CEO and transplant recipient Kevin Longino. “For many people, a transplant is not only life-changing, but lifesaving. The team at NKF offers its services to Mr. Wonder and all kidney patients facing a transplant, or who are still waiting to find their match.”
“We are thankful that Mr. Wonder has shared his story with the world” Longino said. “In doing so, he improves everyone’s understanding about the importance of kidney health. “
Many kidney patients never get a transplant because they are afraid to ask their family and friends for help. If you or a loved one needs help finding a living donor, please visit NKF’s THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE program can help, and it includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free helpline 855.NKF.CARES (855.653.2273), peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign, and in-person trainings to learn how to tell your story. All of these resources are free and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a lifesaving living organ donation.  For more information, visit Also visit NKF’s Spanish-language resources.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history.  People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease.  African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit