Jump to content
✨ STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE WORLD TOUR ✨

R&B Crooner Luther Vandross dies at 54


berrywoman

Recommended Posts

Luther Vandross dead at 54

 

Saturday, July 2, 2005 Posted: 0015 GMT (0815 HKT)

 

 

Luther Vandross died Friday, two years after a debilitating stroke.

 

(CNN) -- Legendary R&B artist Luther Vandross, whose smooth, silky voice gave soul to songs about life, love and relationships, died Friday. He was 54 years old.

 

The popular crooner suffered a debilitating stroke in April 2003. Even so, his album "Dance With My Father," co-written with Richard Marx, sold nearly a million copies in its first month of release that June. The following year, that album won three Grammy Awards, including song of the year.

 

His eighth and final Grammy came for best R&B performance by a duo -- the remake of "The Closer I Get to You," sung with Beyonce Knowles.

 

Vandross died at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey at 1:47 p.m. ET, surrounded by family, friends and a medical support team, a statement from the hospital said.

 

Alluding to the stroke, "which he never fully recovered from," hospital spokesman Rob Cavanaugh said, "Throughout his illness, Luther received excellent medical care and attention from his medical team. Luther was deeply touched by all the thoughts and wishes from his fans."

 

Vandross' songs and emotionally charged ballads carry a signature sound. During his four-decade career, Vandross sold more than 25 million copies, each one of his 14 albums achieving either platinum or multi-platinum status.

 

Luther Ronzoni Vandross was born into a New York City family steeped in the traditions of gospel and soul. He began his career writing and performing jingles for television commercials. He even appeared on "Sesame Street" in October 1969.

 

It was after a chance meeting with David Bowie at a recording studio in 1975 that Vandross was asked to sing backup on Bowie's hit album, "Young Americans."

 

Later, Vandross served as Bowie's opening act. Vandross also sang backup for Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand.

 

When record companies rejected him, Vandross used his own money to produce his 1981 debut album, "Never Too Much."

 

It went on to top the R&B charts and sold 2 million copies.

 

By the end of the 1980s Vandross had nearly two dozen smash singles, including "Give Me the Reason," "Stop to Love" and "There's Nothing Better Than Love," made with Gregory Hines. Arguably his most memorable hit was the 1989 classic, "Here and Now," which has become a wedding staple.

 

The momentum carried into the 1990s, with Vandross recording "The Best Things In Life Are Free," a pop duet with Janet Jackson that hit the Top 10 and No. 1 on the R&B charts.

 

He followed that in 1994 with "Endless Love," a duet with Mariah Carey that reached No. 2 on the pop charts.

 

"I was Luther from day one, from the day I began, and I think that's a very important thing," he once said. "I think that's what sustained my career for so long is that when I start, you know it's me."

 

Vandross struggled with health and image problems, claiming that he lost 100 pounds -- 13 times. He suffered from hypertension and diabetes, which killed two siblings and his father, but refused to slow down until his stroke two years ago.

 

Of "Dance With My Father," he once said that title song "was very emotional for me and, yes, it is based on my own experience.

 

"It's not just about losing one's father, but about missing someone who is gone -- for whatever reason -- and the longing you feel for that moment in the past when you were together," he said.

 

CNN's Brooke Anderson and Todd Leopold contributed to the report.

 

 

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/07/01/vandross.obit/

 

 

 

:cry: RIP Luther...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it was from complications in his losing weight/gaining weight.... so many ups and downs.. I guess it takes a toll on ones body

 

You're probably right, the majority of celebrities seem to feel such a pressure to keep their weight down, that they go to dangerous extremes. :o Looking "perfect" isn't worth losing your life or quality of life. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hadn't heard this. A very sad day for the music world indeed. I was a huge Luther fan, especially at the height of his success, and saw him several times in concert. He used to mesmerise people with his vocal gymnastics.

He had an unbelievable vocal range and was dubbed "The Pavarotti of Pop". It wasn't hard to see why.

In terms of vocal ability, for me he was the male equivalent of Aretha.

He was adopted as an unofficial "figurehead" for the jazz funk and soul movement in the U.K. and "Never Too Much" is regarded as an anthem in this music genre.

I can't stand Mariah Carey generally, but his duet with her on "Endless Love" is awesome.

It's on the album "Songs". His cover version of "Evergreen" on there is also excellent.

But to hear him at his absolute best you should check out "A House Is Not A Home", a seven-minute-long Dionne Warwick epic which he made his own.

My sister is sure to be devastated too. I bought her his greatest hits CD only last Christmas.

For me Luther is right up there with other late greats of soul such as Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson.

 

R.I.P. Luther. The music world will be a much poorer one without you!

 

:cry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of my favortie Luther tracks..

 

Superstar

House is Not A Home

Here And Now..

... man there are just too many to name.. I grew up on R&B and not because of my parents.. just because I've always been a soulful music kind of person... I like to feel.. music has to make me feel, and thats what this brought to the table. I can't believe he's dead!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of my favortie Luther tracks..

 

Superstar

House is Not A Home

Here And Now..

... man there are just too many to name.. I grew up on R&B and not because of my parents.. just because I've always been a soulful music kind of person... I like to feel.. music has to make me feel, and thats what this brought to the table. I can't believe he's dead!!!

 

I think we have more in common than you might have thought! :) :wink3:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of my favortie Luther tracks..

 

Superstar

House is Not A Home

Here And Now..

... man there are just too many to name.. I grew up on R&B and not because of my parents.. just because I've always been a soulful music kind of person... I like to feel.. music has to make me feel, and thats what this brought to the table. I can't believe he's dead!!!

 

I think we have more in common than you might have though! :) :wink3:

 

should I be scared... :uhoh:

 

 

:P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of my favortie Luther tracks..

 

Superstar

House is Not A Home

Here And Now..

... man there are just too many to name.. I grew up on R&B and not because of my parents.. just because I've always been a soulful music kind of person... I like to feel.. music has to make me feel, and thats what this brought to the table. I can't believe he's dead!!!

 

I loved the first two, and the live version of "Here And Now" was great. But I found that song a bit shmaltzy - no what I mean (the "wedding song" reference was very apt).

Do you remember when Luther appeared in an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 performing that??

"A House Is Not A Home" was the ultimate for me, but I also loved his songs with Change, "I Wanted Your Love", "Sugar & Spice", "Georgy Porgy", "Black Butterfly", "The Best Things In Life Are Free" (C&J remix) with Janet Jackson and of course, the aforementioned "Never Too Much".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

some of my favortie Luther tracks..

 

Superstar

House is Not A Home

Here And Now..

... man there are just too many to name.. I grew up on R&B and not because of my parents.. just because I've always been a soulful music kind of person... I like to feel.. music has to make me feel, and thats what this brought to the table. I can't believe he's dead!!!

 

I think we have more in common than you might have though! :) :wink3:

 

should I be scared... :uhoh:

 

No - you should be delighted!! :P

 

 

:P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...