July 2, 2005 by

Luther Vandross

55 comments

Categories: Musicians

lvandross.jpgLuther Ronzoni Vandross, the R&B singer whose lush voice sold more than 25 million albums, died on July 1. Cause of death was not released. He was 54.
The New York native began playing the piano when he was only three years old. In his teens, Vandross fell in love with the musical stylings of Aretha Franklin and Dionne Warwick because he felt they had more emotional range than their male counterparts. He attended Western Michigan University for two terms, then dropped out to become a professional singer/songwriter.
Vandross’ first gigs involved writing songs for the Broadway musical “The Wiz,” and working as a singer and vocal arranger for David Bowie. He sang backup for Donna Summer, Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand, and made more than $500,000 a year writing advertising jingles for Kentucky Fried Chicken and 7-Up.
As the lead vocalist for Change, Vandross scored his first big hit with the 1980 record “The Glow of Love.” A year later, Epic Records signed him to a solo recording contract, and released “Never Too Much.” The debut album sold 2 million copies.
Over the next 25 years, Vandross’ smooth tenor would become a staple on R&B and love song dedication radio stations. He charted 22 R&B hits, including “Superstar,” “Give Me the Reason” and “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” but scored his first Top 10 pop single in 1990 with “Here and Now.”
The romantic crooner won eight Grammy Awards: one for “Here and Now,” two for “Power of Love / Love Power,” one for “Your Secret Love,” three for “Dance With My Father” and one for his duet with Beyonc

55 Responses to Luther Vandross

  1. Karen

    When I first heard of Luther’s passing, I was truly saddended. I had the extreme pleasure of attending a Luther Vandross Concert in 1988; and the power in his voice was just mesmerizing to watch. Although we, his fans loved you; God loved you best. I also want to express my deepest sympathy to his Mother and family; for allowing the world to share his gift. God will continue to provide you the strength necessary during this challenging time.
    Luther, thanks so much for your music; as you lived your life on purpose, and I’m sure you’re ‘Dancing With Your Father’ in the heavens.

  2. Bren

    I can remember nites when I would ride in my car and just pop in a Luther CD. His voice would sooth the stress of my day or week. I was also privileged to attend one of Luther’s concerts. I tell ya’ if you didn’t get the opportunity to hear him in concert you surely missed a treeeeat. Luther, may you rest in peace. We were blessed to have you for such a short while but God knows best and he knew you needed rest….. Love you Luther

  3. luther

    i was named after this legand and ive grown up litni 2 his classic music. imay only be 12 but i will always listen 2 his music like i am right at this very moment

  4. Jackie Parker

    I also had the fortune to attend a Luther Vandross (along with Vanessa Williams) concert with my best friend and a few girlfriends. Once I got over the height thing (the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, TN), I thoroughly enjoyed the show. The world has lost a beautiful voice but “Soul Heaven” is having a ball!!

  5. Serena

    I can’t even listen to any of Luther’s songs right now. I was probably conceived and millions of others due to his wonderful voice and songs. You will greatly be missed Luther. You were a legend and even though your often duplicated your irreplaceable.

  6. John-f. Oddenyo

    Luther you were a wonderful singer. Here in Kenya lots of your fans just can’t say anything. We tahnk God for you, you were so amazing, but because the best things in life are free, we too set you free to go and rest. we will always miss you-Now and Forever.
    John

  7. joyce

    Luther may your soul rest in perfect peace, you were a rare gem that can’t be compared to another. Your voice gives me urge to listen to more of your songs. Your last album ( Dance with my father ) is the best music i’ve ever listened to.

  8. charles cardell

    luther what can i say? but to say thank you for all the years you giving us with your love your life as well as your music i truly belive that god put`s us here for a reason. and the reason for you to have been here was to share your god giving talent with us as well as the world!!my heart goes out to your mother & the family. when i heard of his passing i was upset i just thought ok hear we go again with the rumors and when i found out it was true i lost it. you said it best. you belive in the power of love and with that love i [we] will carry you & your music in our heart always now you can finally dance with your father again…. there will never be no one like you god bless!!!! r.i.p

  9. daniela

    I truely believe that Luther’s songs were more than just touching, for each one of them brought special message and effect upon us. His voice is a talent of a lifetime, and we can only be grateful for his great art.

  10. Megs Yearwood

    I am shocked to hear that Luther is gone. A girlfriend of mine had told me, but i never gbelive her and in someways still don’t. Today I came across this site and i am truly and deeply sad to hear this news. I got married in Nov of 2003 and i choose two wedding songs for our weddign song and they were both songs from Luther; Here and Now, and Powere of Love.
    This is really sad news.

  11. terence

    THE LUTHER I KNEW
    THELUTHER I KNEW: I WAS NOT EVEN BORN WHEN LUTHER BROUGHT OUT HITS BUT I FELL IN LOVE WITH HIS MUSIC.WHEN I HEARD OF HIS PASSING ON THE 01 JULY 2005 ELEVEN DAYS BEFORE MY 20TH BIRTHDAY I WAS SAD STILL SAD. BUT I KNOW THAT IT WAS HIS TIME.AND I KNOW THAT WHEREVER HE IS HE IS SINGING

  12. Angela Johnson

    I have never felt so sad as i am right now to know that Luther has pass and left us all.
    All he ever sang about was love and one day it just dawned on me that he belong to heaven he was on loan to earth.
    Goodbye my dear friend don’t have the words to say how much i will miss hearing your angelic voice live again.
    Njeri

  13. LeiLani Kanealii

    I literally cried when I heard the death of Luther Vandross! I love his music so much. It was very touching and the things that he would sing about would give you such a warm and loving feeling inside, and every word was so true. Never ever would I forget about the famous Luther Vandross. He was very loved by everyone. I will always be his number one fan no matter what! Luther Vandross is in my heart forever!

  14. Leilani Kanealii

    Luther Vandross is a very loving and special person to alot of people. His music very true, and his voice very touching. Knowing about his death is very heartbreaking which is something that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives, but I will always remember that Luther Vandross is in my heart to stay, and his music so special. Never forget The Famous Luther Vandross April 20, 1951-July 1, 2005

  15. Vivian

    Today I listened to Dance With My Father and I cried. It brought memories of my grand father who was the apple of my eye, I want to say thank-you for all the songs you gave us. No one will ever replace you in our hearts and minds. And no one wil never forget the smile that you always had after a concert. You may not be with us in body but you will always be with us in spirit. I will always love you and your music.

  16. jeanette

    lutehr is great i remember when i use to sing along with his music while riding in the car with my mother luther is great and will truly miss him

  17. faye porter

    I was in love when the song, ” a house is not a home was released. I have two beautiful sons because of that song.
    When I realized that Luther was gone, a part of me left too. There will never be a voice, or a spirit like Luther’s. I cried and played his music all day when he passed.
    I hope, that he has all the joy and love that he brought into my life, where he is today.
    I love you Luther, forever, for always, for love.

  18. veliswa

    the time i heard about Luther’s passing on July first i cried a lot,it was the first time i cried for a musician.i really loved him and his music and i want my one year old son Mashudu to know this legend because it’s the music that i love.my son is all the man that i need,he gives me love more love that i ever seen,he’s all i got in this world.may your soul rest in peace Luther we’ll always love and mis u

  19. Tope

    It’s nearly a year since the passing of Luther, yet I still miss him terribly. I remember watching his video montage at the Grammys last month (i.e. tributes to stars that passed on recently)and I shed a tear and thought “why did one so amazing and priceless have to leave so soon ? ” It’s so sad! He was the best! THE VERY BEST! He scored a perfect 10 on every song he sang! If you want to experience artistry and vocal exellence at its zenith, LISTEN TO LUTHER! No one else compares to Him, and I mean NO ONE! Rest in peace great one, we will never forget you! Never!

  20. Simeko Revador

    A poem for you, I love you Luther
    *
    It Is Finished
    My earthly journey has come to an end
    Job well done preacher commend
    No more pains, no more trials
    Enough my Father says, come home child
    It Is Finished
    Ye though I’ve traveled through the valley of death
    Fear is not a factor for me
    For my Savior has always been there
    Yes it’s time for a closer walk with thee
    It Is Finished
    This body you see here, it’s okay, it’s just a shell
    My Lord has reach down some time ago and rescued me from hell
    I’m on my way to glory now, oh what a joy
    God has promised everlasting life, oh my, oh boy
    It Is Finished
    So lone love ones, good-bye is never easy
    Please stay prayful for the devil is quite sleezy
    I’m going up a yonder, here I go
    Angels have surrounded me, their smiling as we flow
    It Is Finished
    WRITTEN BY: SIMEKO REVADOR
    Author: GOD IS JUST A PRAYER AWAY
    http://www.xlibris.com/GodIsJustAPrayerAway.html
    God bless the editors and staff of; BLOG OF DEATH

  21. Erikkah

    ((REQUIUM FOR A TRUBADOR))~~~~~~~~~~~~ SMOOTH AS SILK….GLIDING ON SATIN….VELVET TONES IN ALL THE COLORS OF THE RAINBOW….EMOTIONAL RESCUE IN SENSUAL WRAPPINGS……YOUR GIFTS REMAIN…..YOUR MUSIC NOW BELONGS TO THE AGES….LIVING IN HEARTS AND MINDS WITH PHYSICAL STIRRINGS….AS FINGERS TOUCH AND EYES MEET…YOUR NAME WILL BE SPOKEN….YOUR SONGS PLAYED…YOUR LOVE REVISITED….YOUR LEGACY SECURED…AS YOU NOW MOVE AMONG THE STARS…AND SERENADE THE HEAVENS….THE NIGHT WIND WILL CARRY YOUR VOICE…INTO TIMES MEMORIAL….ECHOES OF HARMONY WHISPERING GENTLY…AS YOU ARE EMBRACED BY THOSE WHO PRECEEDED YOU…AND ETERNITYS MUSIC REVERBERATES WITH BEAUTY AND STRENGTH….REST WELL MY BROTHER….PEACE AND BLESSINGS (c) August 2005 e. richards all rights reserved cannot be used without permission of the author

  22. sheila

    i LOVE THAT POEM–called “Requium For A Trubador”. It’s a great tribute to Luther,and if it isn’t already published,it should be! Applause to the poet!!

  23. ADE'

    Luther’s voice had a magic that is truly missing in today’s music. It’s been almost a year since his passing and I still feel this incredible lost to the WORLD!
    Luther, you are my greatest musical influence… Your talent has helped shape the voice and passion that I have as an artist. If I could have a voice in the world, 10% of what you did, I would be on cloud 9.
    In my opinion, YOU ARE THE BEST male singer of all time and your spirit is beyond measure! May the Universal Creator, keep you forever in love and light!

  24. Phyllis

    Luther Vandross the greatest R & B singer ever is gone, but will never be forgotten. When I heard that he passed away I could not believe it. It’s like a family member is gone. I fell in love with him the first time I heard his voice in the 1980’s I been there from the believe. He is a class act, and he is love by millions all over the world. I went to his last concert in Los Angeles 2001. It’s something I will never forget. He put on a grest show.
    One more thing, I will never forget Luther Vandross birthday. I was born six days before him. What the chance of that. The singer that you respect and love the most, is almost born the same day.
    I will also like to thank his mother Mary Ida Vandross, for letting us share in Luther Vandross new CD “The Ulimate Luther Vandross”. I also like her to know that Luther Vandross is love by millions and nothing can ever change that.
    Phyllis

  25. Steve Hallahan

    Your songs have meant more to me than you will ever no, I have seen you in concert some many times, you were and are the best ever vocolist that anyone could ever hear, your voice and projection is one that will never been heard again, we miss your dulset tones everyday. I have comfort in hearing your albums over and over again, there will be no other, much love Anita and Steve of Canvey Island Essex England.

  26. Christopher

    When I heard of his Luther’s death, I just cried. This was truly a sad moment. There were a many of days that I would listen to him sing and it would just make you feel so good. The stresses of the day would dissolve into thin air. Luther..you will truly be missed. I thank you for giving me your spirit through music and helping me through lifes difficult challenges. May you rest in peace.
    God Bless,
    Christopher

  27. Kim Elks

    Luther, lovely Luther. I was (like many others) devastated at the news of your passing. Many of your songs were my favourites and all of them make me cry especially HERE AND NOW, I’D RATHER, HOUSE IS NOT A HOME, CAN HEAVEN WAIT. The last one really says what most of your fans feel, is that could HEAVEN REALLY HAVE WAITED to take you from us. I really got to know your music when I met my partner 20 years ago now, and since then I have been a devotee and seen you in concert every time but one when you came to London. Each time you came you blew me away with your gorgeous voice. The first concert I saw was when you gave away “Luther dollar bills” and I still have mine! (a treasured article!). I remember when you released “LITTLE MIRACLES” it came out when I found out I was expecting my first daughter (I had been trying for 2yrs!) she is now 13yrs old. Luther you always had the perfect song lyrics to express anyones feelings. The last time I saw you was at Wembley Arena and I know that concert was hard for you as I know you had a bad back. My neighbour told me that she saw you the night before me and you had been standing, but you were sitting on a chair when I came. This shows me and the rest of your fans that you loved us all as you didn’t want to let us down and we certainly were not disappointed, you crooned your way into our hearts as usual. When you passed I wore a black silk rose on my jacket that day to show the love you gave me through your music. See you soon, sleep well my prince. Love you always. My House is Your Home, Superstar, Always and Forever! xxx Kim Elks Walthamstow, London

  28. LUNGISWA

    THE TIME I HEARD OF HIS DEATH I WAS SHOCKED..COS I DREAMED I WOULD GO OVERSEAS JUST FOR HIM HE HAS A GREAT VOICE AND I LOVE THE SONG “DANCE WITH MY FATHER”/ BUY ME A ROSE….REST IN PEACE..LUTHER…!!I WILL ALWAYS LOVED U!

  29. Teresa in N.C.

    I hope somehow Luther Vandross’ mother can read this. I just bought the CD “The Ultimate Luther
    Vandross. I had never really listened to all the lyrics of “Dance with my father”. It made me cry.
    It is beautiful and what a wonderful tribute to his father’s memory and to his mother. I never danced with my father, but I could picture it as I listened to the song.
    God bless you and yours Mrs.Vandross.

  30. Suton Nunley

    i HATE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE LOST THE GREATEST VOICE OF OUR TIME.. I WASNT PRIVLEDGED ENOUGH TO SEE HIM IN CONCERT. MY UNCLE WAS A MEMBER OF HEATWAVE AND MY FATHER DID JAZZ SHOWS @ DREXEL UNIVERSITY ON SUNDAYS FROM 12 TO 4 AND HE SPUN A LOT OF LUTHER,EARTH,WIND,AND,FIRE, YOU KNOW THE HEAVY HITTERS. IM SURE EVERYONE ON THIS SITE INCLUDING MYSELF CAN GO ON FOREVER ABOUT HOW LUTHER’S MUSIC AFFECTED AND INFLUENCED OUR THOUGHTS AND LIVES…HE WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED AND GREATLY MISSED! MUSIC WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN1 IM STILL CANT LISTEN TO LUTHERS MUSIC YET ! !!!!!

  31. David - Canada

    I got an e-mail today reminding me that it was four years ago that Luther suffered the stroke. That was truly the day we lost Luther as we knew him. I was privileged to have met and chatted with him on different occasions and reading all these wonderful comments on what he meant to everyone is comforting. WHAT a presence we were all blessed with!!! His birthday is on the 20th so throw on a lil extra Luther that day and just let that voice take you. Live shows will never be he same…

  32. Phyllis

    HELLO MR. VANDROSS!!!!!!!!!
    It been two years today, boy do I miss you so much. I know that you are up there singing you heart out. You are truly miss.
    You are always with, not just with you music but in my heart. It’s been the hardest two year ever, but I know that you are in a better place. You has a gift that you share with millions. You are also, love my millions all around the world. We will never ever forget you.
    I spend my day playing the 96 songs I have download. What a gift.
    Luther, I miss you and love you.
    Your #1 fan
    Phyllis,

  33. Lucille Adenwala

    I will always love you Luther and in my heart you will always be.There will never be another you, so God gave us the blessing of keeping your music alive here with us. You will NEVER be forgotten. GOD BLESS my love

  34. Myrna

    It’s going on three years and I still can not believe that you are gone. I have always been your number 1 fan. When I heard the news my gospel choir was getting ready to perform on Pennsylvania Ave in Balto. right in front of the Billie Holliday statue. I love all of your music but Dance with my Father holds a special place in my heart – lost my father about five years ago and I remember the times that we used to danceand have a good time. And whenever, I hear that song it brings tears to my eyes. Rest in peace.

  35. Suszanne

    I am reading everything I can find about Luther and his mother today because Mrs. Mary Ida Vandross passed away yesterday. She was a strong woman on the outside but I know she was hurting because she out lived her children and at Luther’s funeral you could see how frail she was.
    She loved Ronnie and losing him took it’s toll. So rest in peace Mrs. Vandross. God Bless!

  36. Phyllis

    I’m so sorry to hear about Mrs. Mary Ida Vandross passing away last week She had kept it together for almost three years, after Luther died. I truly believe she died of a broken heart, after Luther died, it was more the she could take. Mrs. Vandross was a very strong lady. She had lost some much. Her husband and all of her children. After Luther died that was it for her. The people she love the most in this world was gone.
    Mrs. Vandross is in a better place, with the whole family all together again. I bet Luther gave her the biggest concert/home coming party ever. They all are dancing together. In peace.
    Mrs. Vandross and Luther, Love you and miss you.

  37. berlynn

    the poem footprints would better said for the vandross family be strong and know that when god makes hes choices there always good ones and remember he chooses the best and only the best he choose my mother 1 month before luther so i know gods getting all his people together god bless you all.

  38. paul

    Luthers music meant so much to me and my relationships as i was growing up.He was the one singer that sung with such effortlessness & expression,it could literally bring a tear to my eye.I was a true fan and attended many of his concerts.He will never be replaced,rest in peace Luther.

  39. Aida-Nairobi

    I celebrate you today Luther..Happy Birthday to you out there in Soul Heaven. Your music transcends time..You are loved…and sorely missed.

  40. Mimi

    I can’t believe you have been gone for 4 years now, Luther. I love you so much. Every day I listen to one of your CD’s as I take my morning walk. I have loved you since I first saw and heard you singing Never To Much. Gosh, I miss you. My kids grew up on you! I saw every one of your concerts in the Bay Area, including the last one at the Concord Pavillion. I always cry when I hear “I’d Rather.” Rest in peace my sweet and handsome prince.

  41. Mark

    I’m so in love with a girl that has a fella. I listen to Luther all the time because it seems to give me hope that i’ll have her one day and experience the kind of love he sings about in ‘so amazing, dance with my father, Never too much and Endless love.’
    When Luther died, the world became a little less special!!!!!

  42. Detria Walker

    Happy Birthday Luther! Luther Vandross was the best male vocalist of all times, I loved his music so much and every time he came to DC or close to it, I was there. I remember the first time I ever seen him in concert back in 1983 with DeBarge and the Deele. He was fabulous! I had been to numberous concerts and I had never seen anything like this performance, he had the stage set for every song he sang and his voice was better than the records. I was 20 years old but I knew good music when I heard it. Every since that concert, I was hooked on Luther. I got married in 1986 and the day after our wedding, we were at a Luther concert. A special thing about Luther was the fact that he and my husband share the same birthday, April 20th which is today so I just want to say Happy Birthday my friend, I truly miss you and wish that you would not have left so soon. I have two children whom I have taken to see Luther as well when they were only 4 and 5 years old, they loved him too. When I heard the news of Luther’s death, I was in shock because I never thought he would pass so soon. I couldn’t even cry because I was in denial but as the days went by, I cried and cried and some of my family and friends didn’t understand but some of them did because they knew that Luther was a big part of my life and that I loved him even though we never met. I am ever grateful that I had the privelege of speaking to Luther on the phone when he was at WHUR radio station one day and we had a nice conversation. They called him Mr. Love and excitement and I just loved him and I got so excited whenever I saw him in concert. There will never be another like him and I was truly blessed to have had his music for such a time as I did. I was his number 1 fan! I still listen to his music and the thought of him being gone saddens me greatly. He is gone but not forgotten because he will forever live in my heart and in the heart of others.
    Rest in peace, Luther
    Detria

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