July 01, 2005

Thank you, Luther; God bless you

Legendary crooner Luther Vandross died this afternoon. He never fully recovered from a debilitating stroke that hit two years ago.

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.

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.

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 his 2003 hit, "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.

I met Luther shortly after he released his first album in 1981. He was a class act then and throughout his career.

Music fans everywhere are mourning his loss tonight.

Luther Vandross was 54.

(More coverage from The Black Informant, DC Thornton, The Dead Pool, Unpartisan & others)

Posted by mhking at July 1, 2005 10:22 PM | TrackBack

Soul is now officially dead. R.I.P.

Posted by: Steven J. Kelso Sr. at July 5, 2005 06:25 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?