Luther Vandross

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Luther Vandross
Luther Vandross and Diana Ross 2000.jpg
Vandross performing with Diana Ross at Madison Square Garden, 2000
Background information
Birth nameLuther Vandross Jr.
Born(1951-04-20)April 20, 1951
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 1, 2005(2005-07-01) (aged 54)
Edison, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • keyboards
Years active1969–2003
Labels
Associated acts
Website luthervandross.com

Luther Vandross Jr. (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in-demand background vocalist for several different artists including Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Ben E. King, and Donna Summer. He later became a lead singer of the group Change, which released its gold-certified debut album, The Glow of Love , in 1980 on Warner/RFC Records. After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, Never Too Much , in 1981.

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Contents

His hit songs include "Never Too Much", "Here and Now", "Any Love", "Power of Love/Love Power", "I Can Make It Better" and "For You to Love". Many of his songs were covers of original music by other artists such as "If This World Were Mine" (duet with Cheryl Lynn), "Since I Lost My Baby", "Superstar" and "Always and Forever". Duets such as "The Closer I Get to You" with Beyoncé, "Endless Love" with Mariah Carey and "The Best Things in Life Are Free" with Janet Jackson were all hit songs in his career.

Never Too Much (song) Luther Vandross song

"Never Too Much" is a song written, composed, produced, and performed by Luther Vandross. The R&B song was released in 1981, as the lead single from Vandross' debut studio album Never Too Much (1981). The title track hit number one on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, reached number four on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, and peaked at number 33 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Here and Now (Luther Vandross song) song by Luther Vandross

"Here and Now" is a 1989 song by American recording artist Luther Vandross, and written by: David L. Elliott, Terry Steele, and Charles “Casino“ White. The single is from the compilation album The Best of Luther Vandross... The Best of Love. "Here and Now" became his fifth single to peak at No. 1 on the Hot Black Singles, and his first single to chart in the top ten on Billboard Hot 100, at No. 6. "Here and Now" also earned Vandross his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991. Vandross performed the song on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show and in the two-part "Do Not Pass Go" of 227, where he performed during Rose and Warren's wedding ceremony in early 1990.

"Any Love" is song by American recording artist Luther Vandross released as the first single from his six studio album of the same name (1988) and earned Vandross his fourth No. 1 single on Billboards Hot Black Singles Chart. "Any Love" also peaked at No. 12 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. The song also garnered two Grammy Award nominations at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

During his career, Vandross sold over 35 million records worldwide, [1] and received eight Grammy Awards [2] including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times. He won a total of four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for a song recorded not long before his death, "Dance with My Father". [3]

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

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The Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance was awarded between 1968 and 2011. The award has had several minor name changes:

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Early life

Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr. [4] was born on April 20, 1951, at Bellevue Hospital, in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. [5] He was the fourth child and second son of Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross, Sr. [6] His father was an upholsterer and singer, [7] and his mother was a nurse. [8] Vandross was raised in Manhattan's Lower East Side in the NYCHA Alfred E. Smith Houses public housing development. [9] At the age of three, having his own phonograph, Vandross taught himself to play the piano by ear. [4]

Bellevue Hospital Hospital in New York, United States

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Hospital Center, founded on March 31, 1736, is the oldest public hospital in the United States. Located on First Avenue in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, Bellevue Hospital is also home to FDNY EMS Station 08, formerly NYC EMS Station 13.

Kips Bay, Manhattan Neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City

Kips Bay, or Kip's Bay, is a neighborhood on the east side of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by East 34th Street to the north, the East River to the east, East 27th and/or 23rd Streets to the south, and Third Avenue to the west.

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, , is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City, and coextensive with the County of New York, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Manhattan serves as the city's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

Vandross's father died of diabetes when Vandross was eight years old. [4] [9] [10] In 2003, Vandross wrote the song "Dance with My Father" and dedicated it to him; the title was based on his childhood memories and his mother's recollections of the family singing and dancing in the house. His family moved to the Bronx when he was nine. [11] His sisters, Patricia "Pat" and Ann began taking Vandross to the Apollo Theater and to a theater in Brooklyn to see Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. [4] Patricia sang with the vocal group The Crests [12] and was featured on the songs "My Juanita" and "Sweetest One". [7] [13]

"Dance with My Father" is the RIAA Gold-certified title track to singer and songwriter Luther Vandross' thirteenth studio album. With Richard Marx, Vandross wrote the song based on his personal experience. The lyrics recall childhood memories with Vandross' father, who used to dance with him and his mother.

The Bronx Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

The Bronx is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Bronx County, in the U.S. state of New York, the third-most densely populated county in the United States. It is south of Westchester County; northeast and east of Manhattan, across the Harlem River; and north of Queens, across the East River.

Apollo Theater United States historic place

The Apollo Theater is a music hall located at 253 West 125th Street between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. It is a noted venue for African-American performers, and is the home of Showtime at the Apollo, a nationally syndicated television variety show which showcased new talent, from 1987 to 2008, encompassing 1,093 episodes; the show was rebooted in 2018.

Vandross graduated from William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx in 1969, [12] and attended Western Michigan University for a year before dropping out to continue pursuing a career in music. [14]

William Howard Taft High School was a public high school in the southwest section of the Bronx, New York City. The school was operated by the New York City Department of Education.

Western Michigan University public university located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

Western Michigan University (WMU) is a public research university in Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States. The university was established in 1903 by Dwight B. Waldo. Its enrollment, as of the Fall 2016 semester, was 23,252.

Career

While in high school, Vandross founded the first Patti LaBelle fan club, of which he was president. [12] [15] He also performed in a group, Shades of Jade, that once played at the Apollo Theater. During his early years in show business he appeared several times at the Apollo's famous amateur night. [4] [16] While a member of a theater workshop, Listen My Brother, [4] he was involved in the singles "Only Love Can Make a Better World" and "Listen My Brother". He appeared with the group in several episodes of the first season of Sesame Street during 1969–1970. [17]

1970s: Back-up vocalist and first groups

Vandross added backing vocals to Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway in 1972, [18] and worked on Delores Hall's Hall-Mark album (1973). He sang with her on the song "Who's Gonna Make It Easier for Me", which he wrote, and he contributed another song, "In This Lonely Hour".[ citation needed ] Having co-written "Fascination" for David Bowie's Young Americans (1975), he went on to tour with him as a back-up vocalist in September 1974. [19] Vandross wrote "Everybody Rejoice" for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz . [7] [14] [20]

Vandross also sang backing vocals for artists including Roberta Flack, [7] Chaka Khan, Ben E. King, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, and Donna Summer, [21] and for the bands Chic [20] and Todd Rundgren's Utopia. [22]

Before his solo breakthrough, Vandross was part of a singing quintet in the late 1970s named Luther, consisting of former Shades of Jade members Anthony Hinton and Diane Sumler, as well as Theresa V. Reed, and Christine Wiltshire, signed to Cotillion Records. Although the singles "It's Good for the Soul", "Funky Music (Is a Part of Me)", [20] and "The Second Time Around" were relatively successful, their two albums, the self-titled Luther (1976) and This Close to You (1977), which Vandross produced, did not sell enough to make the charts. Vandross bought back the rights to those albums after Cotillion dropped the group, preventing them from being re-released. [23]

Vandross also wrote and sang commercial jingles from 1977 until the early 1980s, for companies including NBC, Mountain Dew, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King, and Juicy Fruit. [7] [9] He continued his successful career as a popular session singer during the late 1970s. He also played Jamison in the 1993 film The Meteor Man. [8]

In 1978, Vandross sang lead vocals for Greg Diamond's disco band, Bionic Boogie, on the song titled "Hot Butterfly". [4] Also in 1978, he appeared on Quincy Jones's Sounds...and Stuff Like That!! , most notably on the song "I'm Gonna Miss You in the Morning" along with Patti Austin. [24] Vandross also sang with the band Soirée and was the lead vocalist on the track "You Are the Sunshine of My Life"; he also contributed background vocals to the album along with Jocelyn Brown and Sharon Redd, each of whom also saw solo success. Additionally, he sang the lead vocals on the group Mascara's LP title song "See You in L.A." released in 1979. Vandross also appeared on the group Charme's 1979 album Let It In.[ citation needed ]

1980s: Change and solo breakthrough

Vandross made his career breakthrough as a featured singer with the vaunted pop-dance act Change, a studio concept created by French-Italian businessman Jacques Fred Petrus. Their 1980 hits, "The Glow of Love" (by Romani, Malavasi and Garfield) and "Searching" (by Malavasi), featured Vandross as the lead singer. In a 2001 interview with Vibe , Vandross said "The Glow of Love" was "the most beautiful song I've ever sung in my life." [12] Both songs were from Change's debut album, The Glow of Love .

Vandross was originally intended to perform on their second and highly successful album Miracles in 1981, but declined the offer as Petrus didn't pay enough money. Vandross's decision led to a recording contract with Epic Records that same year, [7] but he also provided background vocals on "Miracles" and on the new Petrus-created act, the B. B. & Q. Band in 1981. During that hectic year Vandross jump-started his second attempt at a solo career with his debut album, Never Too Much . In addition to the hit title track it contained a version of the Dionne Warwick song "A House Is Not a Home". [7]

The song "Never Too Much", written by himself, reached number-one on the R&B charts. This period also marked the beginning of songwriting collaboration with bassist Marcus Miller, who played on many of the tracks and would also produce or co-produce a number of tracks for Vandross. The Never Too Much album was arranged by Vandross's high school classmate Nat Adderley, Jr., a collaboration that would last through Vandross's career. [25]

Vandross released a series of successful R&B albums during the 1980s and continued his session work with guest vocals on groups like Charme in 1982. Many of his earlier albums made a bigger impact on the R&B charts than on the pop charts. During the 1980s, two of Vandross's singles reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts: "Stop to Love", in 1986, and a duet with Gregory Hines—"There's Nothing Better Than Love." [26] Vandross was at the helm as producer for Aretha Franklin's Gold-certified, award-winning comeback album Jump to It . [27] He also produced the follow-up album, 1983's Get It Right . [7] [28]

In 1983, the opportunity to work with his main musical influence, Dionne Warwick, came about with Vandross producing, writing songs, and singing on How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye, her fourth album for Arista Records. [7] [29] The title track duet reached No. 27 on the Hot 100 chart (#7 R&B/#4 Adult Contemporary), [30] while the second single, "Got a Date" was a moderate hit (#45 R&B/#15 Club Play).

Vandross wrote and produced "It's Hard for Me to Say" for Diana Ross from her Red Hot Rhythm & Blues album. [31] Ross performed the song as an a cappella tribute to Oprah Winfrey on her final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show . She then proceeded to add it to her successful 2010–12 "More Today Than Yesterday: The Greatest Hits Tour. Vandross also recorded a version of this song on his Your Secret Love album in 1996. He made two public appearances at Diana Ross's Return to Love Tour: at its opening in Philadelphia at First Union Spectrum and its final stop at Madison Square Garden on July 6, 2000.[ citation needed ]

In December 1985, Vandross filed a libel suit against a British magazine after it attributed his 85-pound weight loss to AIDS. He weighed 325 pounds when he started a diet in May that year. [32]

In 1985, Vandross first spotted the talent of Jimmy Salvemini, who was fifteen at the time, on Star Search . He thought Salvemini had the perfect voice for some of his songs, and contacted him. He was managed by his brother, Larry Salvemini. A contract was negotiated with Elektra Records for $250,000 and Vandross agreed to produce the album. He contacted his old friends - Cheryl Lynn, Alfa Anderson (Chic), Phoebe Snow and Irene Cara - to appear on the record. After the album was completed, Luther, Jimmy, and Larry decided to celebrate. On January 12, 1986, they were riding in Vandross's 1985 convertible Mercedes-Benz on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, in the north section of Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. Luther was driving at 48 mph in a 35 mph zone when his Mercedes veered across the double yellow center line of the two lane street, turned sideways and collided with the front of a 1972 Mercury Marquis that was headed southbound, then swung around and hit a 1979 Cadillac Seville head on. [32] [33] [34] [35] Vandross and Jimmy were rushed to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Larry, who was in the passenger seat, was killed during the collision. Vandross suffered three broken ribs, a broken hip, several bruises and facial cuts. [4] [32] Jimmy, who was in the back of the car, had cuts, bruises and contusions. Vandross faced vehicular manslaughter charges as a result of Larry's death, and his driving license was suspended for a year. There was no evidence Vandross was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs; he pleaded no contest to reckless driving. At first, the Salvemini family was supportive of Vandross, but later filed a wrongful death suit against him. The case was settled out of court with a payment to the Salvemini family for about $630,000. [36] Jimmy Salvemini's album, Roll It, was released later that year.

Vandross also sang the ad-libs and background vocals in Stevie Wonder's 1985 hit "Part-Time Lover". [37] In 1986, he voiced a cartoon character named Zack for ABC's Zack of All Trades, a three Saturday morning animated PSA spots. [38]

The 1989 compilation album The Best of Luther Vandross... The Best of Love included the ballad "Here and Now", his first single to chart in the Billboard pop chart top ten, peaking at number six. He won his first Grammy award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991. [39]

1990s

In 1990, Vandross wrote, produced and sang background for Whitney Houston in a song entitled "Who Do You Love" which appeared on her I'm Your Baby Tonight album. [40] That year, he guest starred on the television sitcom 227 . [7] [41]

More albums followed in the 1990s, beginning with 1991's Power of Love which spawned two top ten pop hits. He won his second Best Male R&B Vocal in the Grammy Awards of 1992, and his track "Power of Love/Love Power" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in the same year. In 1992, "The Best Things in Life Are Free", a duet with Janet Jackson from the movie Mo' Money became a hit. [7] In 1993, he had a brief non-speaking role in the Robert Townsend movie The Meteor Man . [42] He played a hit man who plotted to stop Townsend's title character. [41]

Vandross hit the top ten again in 1994, teaming with Mariah Carey on a cover version of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross's duet "Endless Love". [43] It was included on the album Songs , a collection of songs which had inspired Vandross over the years. He also appears on "The Lady Is a Tramp" released on Frank Sinatra's Duets album. At the Grammy Awards of 1997, he won his third Best Male R&B Vocal for the track "Your Secret Love".

A second greatest hits album, released in 1997, compiled most of his 1990s hits and was his final album released through Epic Records. After releasing I Know on Virgin Records, he signed with J Records. [44] His first album on Clive Davis's new label, entitled Luther Vandross, was released in 2001, and it produced the hits "Take You Out" (#7 R&B/#26 Pop), and "I'd Rather" (#17 Adult Contemporary/#40 R&B/#83 Pop). Vandross scored at least one top 10 R&B hit every year from 1981–1994.

In 1997, Vandross sang the American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", during Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana.

2000s

In September 2001, Vandross performed a rendition of Michael Jackson's hit song "Man in the Mirror" at Jackson's 30th Anniversary special, alongside Usher and 98 Degrees.

In 2002, he performed his final concerts during his last tour, The BK Got Soul Tour starring Vandross featuring Angie Stone and Gerald Levert.[ citation needed ]

In the spring of 2003, Vandross's last collaboration was Doc Powell's "What's Going On", a cover of Marvin Gaye from Powell's album 97th and Columbus.

In 2003, Vandross released the album Dance with My Father . It sold 442,000 copies in the first week and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart. [45] [46] The title track of the same name, which was dedicated to Vandross's childhood memories of dancing with his father, won Vandross and his co-writer, Richard Marx, the 2004 Grammy Award for Song of the Year. [7] The song also won Vandross his fourth and final award in the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance category. [7] The album was his only career No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The video for the title track features various celebrities alongside their fathers and other family members. [47] The second single released from the album, "Think About You", was the number one Urban Adult Contemporary Song of 2004 according to Radio & Records.

In 2003, after the televised NCAA Men's Basketball championship, CBS Sports gave "One Shining Moment" a new look. Vandross, who had been to only one basketball game in his life, was the new singer, and the video had none of the special effects, like glowing basketballs and star trails, that videos from previous years had. This song version is in use today. [48]

Personal life

Vandross was not married and had no children. His older siblings all predeceased him. [49]

Vandross's sexual orientation was a subject of media speculation. Jason King, writing in Vandross's obituary in The Village Voice , said: "Though he never came out as gay, bisexual, or even straight, you had to be wearing blinders." According to Gene Davis, a television producer who worked with Vandross, "Everybody in the business knew that Luther was gay". In 2006, Bruce Vilanch, a friend and colleague of Vandross, told Out magazine, "He said to me, 'No one knows I'm in the life.' ... He had very few sexual contacts". According to Vilanch, Vandross experienced his longest romantic relationship with a woman while living in Los Angeles during the late 1980s and early 1990s. [50] In December 2017, his friend Patti LaBelle confirmed that Vandross was in fact gay. [51]

Illness and death

Vandross suffered from diabetes and hypertension. [14] [52] On April 16, 2003, Vandross suffered a severe stroke at his home in New York City [14] and was in a coma for nearly two months. [53] The stroke affected his ability to speak and sing, and required him to use a wheelchair. [54]

At the 2004 Grammy Awards, Vandross appeared in a pre-taped video segment to accept his Song of the Year Award for "Dance with My Father", saying, "When I say goodbye it's never for long, because I believe in the power of love" (Vandross sang the last six words). [14] His mother, Mary, accepted the award in person on his behalf. His last public appearance was on May 6, 2004, on The Oprah Winfrey Show . [14] Vandross died on July 1, 2005, at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, at the age of 54 of a heart attack. [52]

Vandross's funeral was held at Riverside Church in New York City on July 8, 2005. Cissy Houston, founding member of The Sweet Inspirations and mother of Whitney Houston, sang at the funeral service. Vandross was buried at the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. He was survived by his mother, Mary Ida Vandross, who died in 2008.

Voice

Possessing a tenor vocal range, [8] [14] [55] [56] Vandross was commonly referred to as "The Velvet Voice" in reference to his exceptional vocal talent, and was sometimes called "The Best Voice of a Generation". He was also regarded as the "Pavarotti of Pop" by many critics. [57]

In 2008, Vandross was ranked No. 54 on Rolling Stone Magazine's List of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Mariah Carey stated several times in interviews that standing next to Vandross while recording their duet "Endless Love" was intimidating. [58]

By popular vote, Vandross was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012. [59]

Tribute

In 1999, Whitney Houston sang Vandross's "So Amazing" as a tribute to Vandross as he sat in the audience during the Soul Train Awards. Johnny Gill, El DeBarge, and Kenny Lattimore provided background vocals. On July 27, 2004, GRP Records released a smooth jazz various artists tribute album, Forever, for Always, for Luther , including ten popular songs written by Vandross. The album featured vocal arrangements by Luther, and was produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. Rideout had co-authored songs, contributed arrangements and played keyboards on Vandross's final three albums. The tribute album was mixed by Ray Bardani, who recorded and mixed most of Luther's music over the years. It featured an ensemble of smooth jazz performers, many of whom had previously worked with Vandross. [60]

On September 20, 2005, the album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross was released. The album is a collection of some of his songs performed by various artists, including Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Fantasia, Beyoncé, Donna Summer, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, Babyface, Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Angie Stone, Jamie Foxx, Teddy Pendergrass, and Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin won a Grammy for her rendition of "A House Is Not a Home", and Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé won a Grammy for their cover of "So Amazing".

The violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz did a remix of the song "Dance with My Father" for their album Struggle from the Subway to the Charts , which was released on October 3, 2006. On November 21, 2006, saxophonist Dave Koz released a followup to the earlier smooth jazz GRP tribute album, this time on his own Rendezvous Entertainment label, an album called Forever, for Always, for Luther Volume II , also produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. Dave Koz played on all the featured Luther Vandross tracks, which were recorded by various smooth jazz artists. [61]

In 2007, Deniece Williams included "Never Too Much" on her Love, Niecy Style CD. Williams said that she recorded the song to say "I love you" to her old friend. In the music video "Bye Bye" from Mariah Carey Vandross's picture appears in the closing images. His image was included as a tribute along with various other deceased people with whom Carey had collaborated.[ citation needed ]

In 2008, Keyshia Cole sang the outro to "Luther Vandross" on "Playa Cardz Right", which featured rapper Tupac Shakur from her 2008 album, A Different Me . Guitarist Norman Brown did a rendition of "Any Love" on his 1994 album After The Storm. R&B band 112 sampled Vandross's "Don't You Know That" to make their song "Love Me" on their second album Room 112 . Saxophonist Boney James covered his rendition on his final track "The Night I Fell in Love" on Backbone in 1994.[ citation needed ]

Vandross has been cited as an influence on a number of other artists, including 112, Boyz II Men, D'Angelo, Hootie & the Blowfish, Jaheim, John Legend, Mint Condition, Ne-Yo, Ruben Studdard, and Usher. [62] [63] Stokley Williams, the lead singer of Mint Condition, has said that he has "studied Luther for such a long time because he was the epitome of perfect tone." On his influence, John Legend has said, "All us people making slow jams now, we was inspired by the slow jams Luther Vandross was making."

In 2010, NPR included Vandross in its 50 Greatest Voices in recorded history, saying Vandross represents "the platinum standard for R&B song stylings." The announcement was made on NPR's All Things Considered on November 29, 2010. [64]

Author Craig Seymour wrote a book about Vandross called Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross. The book includes numerous interviews with Vandross.[ citation needed ]

New releases

J Records released a song,[ when? ] "Shine"—an upbeat R&B track that samples Chic's disco song "My Forbidden Lover"—which reached No. 31 on the Billboard R&B chart. [65] The song was originally slated to be released on the soundtrack to the movie, The Fighting Temptations , but it was shelved. A later remix of the song peaked at No. 10 on the Club Play chart.[ citation needed ] "Shine" and a track titled "Got You Home" were previously unreleased songs on The Ultimate Luther Vandross (2006), a greatest hits album on Epic Records/J Records/Legacy Recordings that was released August 22, 2006. [66]

On October 16, 2007, Epic Records/J Records/Legacy Recordings released a 4-disc boxed set titled Love, Luther. It features nearly all of Vandross's R&B and pop hits throughout his career, as well as unreleased live tracks, alternate versions, and outtakes from sessions that Vandross recorded. The set also includes "There's Only You", a version of which had originally appeared on the soundtrack to the 1987 film Made in Heaven . [67] [68]

In October 2015, Sony Music released a re-configured edition of its The Essential Luther Vandross compilation containing three unreleased songs: "Love It, Love It" (which made its premiere a year prior on the UK compilation The Greatest Hits), a live recording of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with Paul Simon and Jennifer Holliday, and a cover of Astrud Gilberto's "Look to the Rainbow." [69]

Discography

Tours

Awards

Grammy Award
YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982 Luther Vandross Best New Artist Nominated
Never Too Much Best Male R&B Vocal Performance Nominated
1983 Forever, For Always, For LoveBest Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
1986 The Night I Fell in LoveBest Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
1987 "Give Me the Reason"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Best R&B Song (shared with Nat Adderley, Jr.)Nominated
1989 "Any Love"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Best R&B Song (shared with Marcus Miller)Nominated
1990 "She Won't Talk to Me"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
1991 "Here and Now"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceWon
1992 "Power of Love/Love Power"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceWon
Best R&B Song (with Marcus Miller and Teddy Vann)Won
"Doctor's Orders" (with Aretha Franklin) Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals Nominated
1993 "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (with Janet Jackson)Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with VocalsNominated
1994 "How Deep Is Your Love"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
"Heaven Knows"Best R&B Song (shared with Reed Vertelney)Nominated
"Little Miracles (Happen Every Day)"Best R&B Song (shared with Marcus Miller)Nominated
1995 "Love the One You're With" Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
"Endless Love" (with Mariah Carey) Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
"Always and Forever"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Songs Best R&B Album Nominated
1997 "Your Secret Love"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceWon
Best R&B Song (shared with Reed Vertelney)Nominated
1998 "When You Call on Me / Baby That's When I Come Runnin'"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
1999 "I Know"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
I Know Best Traditional R&B Performance Nominated
2003 "Any Day Now"Best Traditional R&B PerformanceNominated
2004 "Dance with My Father" Song of the Year (shared with Richard Marx)Won
Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceWon
Best R&B Song (shared with Richard Marx)Nominated
"The Closer I Get to You" (with Beyoncé)Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with VocalsWon
Dance with My FatherBest R&B AlbumWon
2007 "Got You Home"Best Male R&B Vocal PerformanceNominated
Soul Train Music Awards
YearNominee / workAwardResult
1987 Give Me the Reason Best R&B/Soul Album – Male Won
"Give Me the Reason" Best R&B/Soul Single – Male Nominated
1988 "So Amazing"Best R&B/Soul Single – MaleNominated
1989 Any LoveBest R&B/Soul Album – MaleNominated
1990 The Best of Luther Vandross... The Best of LoveBest R&B/Soul Album – MaleNominated
"Here and Now"Best R&B/Soul Single – MaleWon
Best Song of the Year Nominated
1992 Power of LoveBest R&B/Soul Album – MaleWon
"Power of Love/Love Power"Best R&B/Soul Single – MaleNominated
1994 Never Let Me GoBest R&B/Soul Album – MaleNominated
"Heaven Knows"Best R&B/Soul Single – MaleNominated
1995 SongsBest R&B/Soul Album – MaleNominated
1999 Luther Vandross Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement Honour
2004 Dance with My Father Best Album of the Year Nominated
Best R&B/Soul Album – MaleNominated
"Dance with My Father"Best R&B/Soul Single – MaleWon
2005 "The Closer I Get to You" (with Beyoncé) Best R&B/Soul Single – Group, Band or Duo Nominated
American Music Award
YearNominee / workAwardResult
1986 Luther Vandross Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist Nominated
The Night I Fell in Love Favorite Soul/R&B Album Nominated
1988 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
Give Me the ReasonFavorite Soul/R&B AlbumNominated
1990 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
1992 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
Power of LoveFavorite Soul/R&B AlbumWon
1994 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
1996 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
2002 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
2003 Luther VandrossFavorite Soul/R&B Male ArtistWon
Dance with My FatherFavorite Soul/R&B AlbumWon
Hollywood Walk of Fame

See also

Related Research Articles

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"If This World Were Mine" is a 1967 song by soul music duo Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from their album United. Written solely by Gaye, it was one of the few songs they recorded without Ashford & Simpson writing or producing. When it was released as a single in November 1967 as the B-side to the duo's "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You", it hit the Billboard pop singles chart, peaking at number sixty-eight, and peaked at number twenty-seven on the Billboard R&B singles chart. Gaye would later put the song into his set list during his last tours in the early-1980s as he performed a medley of his hits with Terrell. The song was covered a year later by Joe Bataan on the 1968 Fania Allstars LP Live at the Red Garter, Vol. 2, and in 1969 by Ambrose Slade (pre-Slade) on their album Beginnings.

The Best Things in Life Are Free single

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"Endless Love" is a song written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Richie and fellow R&B singer Diana Ross. In this ballad, the singers declare their "endless love" for one another. It was covered by R&B singer Luther Vandross with fellow R&B singer Mariah Carey and also by country music singer Shania Twain. Richie's friend Kenny Rogers has also recorded the song. Billboard has named the original version as the greatest song duet of all-time.

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<i>Songs</i> (Luther Vandross album) 1994 studio album by Luther Vandross

Songs the ninth studio album by American R&B singer Luther Vandross. It was released by Epic Records on September 20, 1994. The album, a collection of cover versions, produced the singles "Endless Love", "Always and Forever", and "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now". According to an interview both Luther and Mariah Carey had in Japan following their release of "Endless Love", there was mention that Carey had given advice as to what songs Vandross would cover in this album.

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<i>Forever, for Always, for Love</i> 1982 studio album by Luther Vandross

Forever, for Always, for Love is the second studio album by American R&B singer and songwriter Luther Vandross, released on September 21, 1982, by Epic Records. It became Vandross' second album to chart in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 and was his second album to top the R&B Albums chart where it spent three weeks.

<i>Give Me the Reason</i> (Luther Vandross album) 1986 studio album by Luther Vandross

Give Me the Reason is the fifth studio album by American R&B/soul singer-songwriter Luther Vandross, released on September 19, 1986. The album earned Vandross an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and a nomination for "Favorite Soul/R&B Album" in 1988, while the title track "Give Me the Reason" was nominated for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" and "Best R&B Song" at the 29th Grammy Awards in 1987. The album also includes Vandross' first top-20 pop hit, "Stop to Love." It also marked a svelte, thinner Vandross due to a weight loss earlier in the year. The album went on to sell over 2 million copies in the United States and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

<i>Any Love</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Luther Vandross

Any Love is the sixth studio album by American R&B/soul singer-songwriter Luther Vandross. It was released on September 20, 1988. It reached the top position on the R&B Album charts that year for two weeks. At the 1989 Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" and its title track was nominated for "Best R&B Song". Also, "She Won't Talk to Me" received a nomination for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male" in 1990. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album also features a cover of Major Harris' hit single "Love Won't Let Me Wait".

<i>Power of Love</i> (Luther Vandross album) 1991 studio album by Luther Vandross

Power of Love is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Luther Vandross, released in April 1991. The following year, the album earned Vandross two American Music Awards for "Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist" and "Favorite Soul/R&B Album" and one Grammy Award for "Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male", and the track "Power of Love/Love Power" won in the "Best R&B Song" category. It reached Billboard 200 at #7, while topping the Top R&B Albums chart for five nonconsecutive weeks. On the latter chart, it was the last #1 R&B Album for twelve years until Dance With My Father was released. Power of Love was later certified double platinum Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

<i>Never Let Me Go</i> (Luther Vandross album) 1993 studio album by Luther Vandross

Never Let Me Go is the eighth studio album by American R&B singer and songwriter Luther Vandross, released in May 1993 in the US by Epic. It was his first studio album not to debut at #1 on the R&B Albums chart.

The Closer I Get to You 1978 single by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway

"The Closer I Get to You" is a romantic ballad performed by African-American singer-songwriter Roberta Flack and African-American soul musician Donny Hathaway. The song was written by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, two former members of Miles Davis's band, who were members of Flack's band at the time. Produced by Atlantic Records, the song was released on Flack's 1977 album Blue Lights in the Basement, and as a single in 1978. It became a major crossover hit, becoming Flack's biggest commercial hit after her success with her 1973 solo single, "Killing Me Softly with His Song". Originally set as a solo-single, Flack's manager, David Franklin, suggested a duet with Hathaway, which resulted in the finished work.

Richard Marx American adult contemporary and pop/rock singer, songwriter, musician and record producer

Richard Noel Marx is an American adult contemporary and pop/rock singer, songwriter, musician and record producer who has sold over 30 million records. He had a stream of hit singles during the late 1980s and 1990s, including "Endless Summer Nights", "Hold On to the Nights", "Right Here Waiting", "Now and Forever", a murder ballad "Hazard", and "At the Beginning" with Donna Lewis. Much of Marx's early work, such as "Don't Mean Nothing", "Should've Known Better", "Satisfied", and "Too Late to Say Goodbye", exhibited a classic rock style.

Always and Forever (Heatwave song) 1977 single by Heatwave

"Always and Forever" is an R&B song written by Rod Temperton and produced by Barry Blue. It was first recorded by the British-based multinational funk-disco band Heatwave in 1976. Released as a single on December 3, 1977, the song is included on Heatwave's debut album Too Hot to Handle (1976) and has been covered by numerous artists, becoming something of a standard.

Fonzi Thornton American singer

Alfonso "Fonzi" Thornton is an American singer, songwriter/producer and vocal contractor. In a career spanning 40 years, Thornton has sung backing vocals for top artists across many genres of music. His vocal credits can be found on the recordings of Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, CHIC, Diana Ross, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Mariah Carey, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Al Jarreau, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Phoebe Snow and Bette Midler and many others. In 2008, Thornton joined the musical entourage of Aretha Franklin as backing vocalist and vocal contractor and continued to accompany her in concert, on recordings and TV until her death in 2018.

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