“Happy Birthday” was written by Stevie Wonder to popularize the campaign (in which he was significantly involved) to make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
s birthday a national holiday. In November 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into existence. The first official Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was January 20, 1986 and a commemorative concert featuring Stevie Wonder was held. Stevie Wonder also performed the song in October 2011 at the dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. “Happy Birthday” also appears on the album Hotter Than July.