From Top, Stevie Wonder (Source: KRT Entertainment/MCT); Ray Charles (Source: Wikimedia Commons); Andrea Bocelli (Source: Joyce Marshall/Fort Worth Star/MCT); Heather Whitestone (Source: Mark Rauterkus (Picasa) via Wikimedia Commons); Hellen Keller (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

With so much news covering every moment of celebrity life, there isn’t much we don’t know about our favorite idols.

Some of these famous people take on more than just the regular, day-to-day tasks.

In fact, a few have pushed their way to the top with severe impairments such as blindness and deafness.

Here’s the scoop on a just a few of the famous icons who overcame their impairments to become global prodigies:

Stevie Wonder: A singer, pianist and songwriter, Stevie Wonder is an American prodigy who was born blind. One of the most acclaimed musicians to ever live, Wonder taught himself all the elements of music throughout his childhood. From the drums to the harmonica, Wonder played it all and released over 20 albums throughout his career.

Ray Charles: Like Wonder, Ray Charles was also a blind musician. Born in 1930s Georgia, Charles suffered from glaucoma that left him completely blind by the time he was seven. Despite his impairment, Charles brought heart and soul into music with groundbreaking hits that left a lasting impression for years to come. Not only responsible for pioneering soul music, Charles also helped overcome racial barriers during his time.

Andrea Bocelli: Visually impaired since birth, Bocelli went completely blind at the age of 12 in a soccer accident. Despite this tragedy, Bocelli was fascinated with music throughout his childhood and played classical instruments like the piano and saxophone. Cementing his prodigal status with his famed piece “Songo,” Bocelli became an acclaimed tenor and still creates beautiful music to this day.

Heather Whitestone: Heather Whitestone suffered a virus which left her deaf at 18 months old. However, on Sept. 17, 1994, Whitestone was nominated Miss America, the first deaf contestant to win. Her success didn’t end there as she went on to expand her S.T.A.R.S organization where she continues to help people across the globe.

Helen Keller: Keller is remembered as an American educator and one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians. She is often recognized for overcoming the adversity of both blindness and deafness at a very young age. With the help of her tutor, Keller learned communication, mostly through her fingertips. Her legacy forever impacted education, women’s suffrage and labor rights.

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