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Luther Vandross

Real name: Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr.
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single


Song Name Listen Send to Phone
Luther Vandross - Always and Forever Listen Send to Phone
Luther Vandross - Id Rather Listen Send to Phone
Luther Vandross - Id Rather [Chours] Listen Send to Phone
Luther Vandross - You are my lady Listen Send to Phone

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Luther Ronzoni Vandross, Jr. (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005) was an American R&B and soul singer and songwriter. During his career, Vandross sold over twenty-five million albums and won eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four times. He won four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the track "Dance With My Father", co-written with Richard Marx.

Luther Vandross was in a vocal group in high school, Shades of Jade, that once played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. His first recording credit was as producer of the album Soul Christmas in 1968, his first vocal credit as a vocalist on the Quincy Jones album Best, in 1969. He was also a member of a theater workshop, "Listen My Brother" who released a the singles, "Only Love Can Make a Better World" and "Listen My Brother", and appeared on the second and fifth episodes of Sesame Street in November 1969.

His next recording credit was on an album by Roberta Flack in 1972. Luther also sang on Delores Hall's Hall-Mark album from 1973. He sang with her on the song "Who's Gonna Make It Easier For Me", which he wrote. He also contributed another song, "In This Lonely Hour". Having co-written "Fascination" for David Bowie's Young Americans, he went on to tour with him as a back-up vocalist in September 1974. Vandross wrote "Everybody Rejoice" for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz; also appearing as a choir member in the movie.

Before his breakthrough, he released two albums with a singing group he formed, also called Luther, on Cotillion Records. The group had a successful single entitled "It's Good for the Soul", although their two albums, the self-titled Luther in 1976 and This Close to You in 1977, were not successful. Vandross bought back the rights to these albums after the record label dropped the group, preventing their later re-release.

In 1993, Vandross had a brief speaking role in the Robert Townsend movie Meteor Man. He played a hit man who plotted to stop Townsend's title character.

Vandross had diabetes, a disease that ran in his family, as well as hypertension. His weight fluctuated over the years, with Vandross weighing over 300 pounds (136 kg) at his heaviest. His alleged penchant for a bacon cheeseburger with doughnuts in place of a bun known as a Luther Burger is considered by many to have influenced his weight. His father, Luther Sr., died of complications from diabetes when Luther Jr. was eight years old. Luther Jr.'s two sisters and a brother also predeceased him. On April 16, 2003, just 4 days before his 52nd birthday, Vandross suffered a stroke in his home in Manhattan. Though the cause of Vandross' stroke was not specifically attributed to diabetes, diabetics have been identified as being much more susceptible to strokes than non-diabetics.

His funeral was in New York City on July 8, 2005. After two days of viewing, Vandross was laid to rest in George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey.

Vandross' songs have also been performed numerous times by American Idol contestants. Notable covers include Season 1 Finalist Tamyra Gray's version of "Dance With My Father" on Boston Public, R&B artist Keyshia Cole's version of "Never Too Much" on her 2005 debut album The Way It Is.


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