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"Sir Duke"
Single by Stevie Wonder
from the album Songs in the Key of Life
B-side "He's Misstra Know-It-All"
Released March 1977
Format 7"
Genre Funk, R&B
Length 3:54
Label Motown
Writer(s) Stevie Wonder
Producer Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder singles chronology
"I Wish"
"Sir Duke"
"Another Star"
Songs in the Key of Life track listing
"Sir Duke"
"I Wish"

"Sir Duke" is a song composed and performed by Stevie Wonder, from his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. Released as a single in 1977, the track topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Black Singles charts, [1]. and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart, his biggest hit there at the time.

The song was written in tribute to Duke Ellington, the influential jazz legend who had died in 1974. The lyrics also refer to Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

The artists, apart from Stevie Wonder, who perform on the original version were: Raymond Pounds (drums), Nathan Watts (bass), Mike Sembello (lead guitar), Ben Bridges (rhythm guitar), Hank Redd (alto saxophone), Trevor Laurence (tenor saxophone), Raymond Maldonado (trumpet), and Steve Madaio (trumpet).

Wonder re-recorded the song for the 1995 live album Natural Wonder.

In the early to mid-1990s, "Sir Duke" was played during the NBA's New York Knicks games at Madison Square Garden. "Sir Duke" is featured in the Derrick Comedy sketch "Progressions of a Mad Hatter". "Sir Duke" was also played at the 2004 Democratic National Convention after the Presidential nomination acceptance speech of John Kerry and John Edwards.

It was used for the theatrical trailer for the Will Smith romantic-comedy Hitch.

In 2008, "Sir Duke" was used in a TV commercial for Lee Jeans. [1].


Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles 1
UK Singles Chart 2
Preceded by
"When I Need You" by Leo Sayer
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 21 – June 4, 1977
Succeeded by
"I'm Your Boogie Man" by KC and the Sunshine Band
Preceded by
"Whodunit" by Tavares
Billboard Hot Soul Singles number-one single
May 28, 1977
Succeeded by
"Got to Give It Up (Part 1)" by Marvin Gaye


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 636. 


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