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Stevie Wonder celebrates MLK Day calling for Congress to support voting rights

Lester Cohen/Getty Images for Wonder Productions

In 1980, Stevie Wonder led the campaign to make Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday, and recorded the iconic song, “Happy Birthday” in honor of Dr. King on his Hotter Than July album. On Monday, as the nation celebrated MLK Day, the 25-time Grammy winner demanded that the Senate ends its filibuster and enacts voting rights legislation.

“Any senator who cannot support the protection of voting rights to the United States of America cannot say that they support the Constitution,” the Motown legend said in a YouTube video. “Stop the hypocrisy. Cut the bull-tish. If you care and support our rights, do the hard work. You can’t please everybody, but you can protect all of us. And to keep it all the way real: The filibuster is not working for democracy. Why won’t you?”

Also on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, and his 13-year-old granddaughter, Yolanda Renee King, led the annual Peace Walk in Washington, D.C. to honor the legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, and demand action on two voting rights bills: the Freedom to Vote Act, and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“What we want is for Americans to be engaged,” King III told ABC News, adding that the need for federal safety guards is more urgent than ever. “This year, we are laser focused on getting the right to vote sustained and getting the right to vote empowered.”

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