b. Luther Ronzoni Vandross, 20th April 1951, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 1st July 2005, JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Although this artist is considered by some soul purists to be too mainstream, Luther Vandross had one of the finest voices in soul music.
courtesy of nicolas drosos
Luther was born into a family with deep gospel roots and constructed his own group whilst still at school.
He also worked with the musical theatre workshop 'Listen My Brother' and also performed at Harlem's Apollo Theatre.
david bowie's young americans sessions - 1974/5
In the mid seventies, Luther was invited to join David Bowie's entourage for his 'Young American's' album project.
The collaboration became so, mutually, successful when Bowie's U.S. tour was underway, Luther was the opening act.
luther in 1976
This let to the Cotillion label taking the singer on and he recorded a debut album with a band he formed, simply called Luther.
luther - 1976 / this close to you - 1977
The albums 'Luther' and 'This Close To You' are today considered highly by todays soul purists, with the latter reaching very high prices.
funky christmas - various artists - 1977 / change - the glow of love - 1980
He also contributed to a Christmas album, entitled 'Funky Christmas', whilst at Cotillion.
Luther then reverted to session recording.
There was the opportunity on the table for a deal with Quincy, however, that never transpired.
Luther was reported to have been devastated.
He continued, however, to subsidize his recordings, at the time, by producing music for various network television advertisements, including Coca Cola.
One of Luthers most successful session recordings came with the group Change on the 1980 album 'Glow Of Love' earning the band two UK Top 20 hits in 'The Glow Of Love' and 'Searchin'.
never too much - 1981 / forever, for always, for love - 1982 / busy body - 1983 / the night i fell in love - 1985
Luther then began performing as a solo artist with Epic / CBS Records.
'Never Too Much' earned him an R & B number 1.
The subsequent album reached number 20 in the U.S. R & B charts.
'Never Too Much' then made the the U.K. Top 20 at a lter date.
give me the reason - 1986 / any love - 1988 / power of love - 1991 / never let me go - 1993
Luther followed up with two further R & B number 1 hits with 'Stop To Love' (1986) and a duet with Gregory Hines, 'There's Nothing Better Than Love' (1987).
chaka khan, luther, david bowie & cissy houston - recording sessions for the soundtrack to the film 'labyrinth' - 1984/5
One of Luther's favourite groups was 'The Smith Connection', Louis, Danny and Michael Lovesmith.
Younger brother, Aaron joined the group at Motown under their new name, 'Lovesmith'.
Luther and Aretha Franklin wanted to emulate their sound for her 'Get It Right', 1983 Arista imprint project.
mascara - 1979
If, at any time, you are looking around your local record store, keep an eye out for an album entitled 'See You In L.A.' by the group Mascara.
The front cover depicts two models, one of whom is the late Paula Yates.
Luther's vocal talents are to be found on his cover of The Tymes track 'It's Cool', which is highly popular on the modern soul scene.
songs - 1994 / this is christmas - 1995 / your secret love - 1996 / i know - 1998
An album 'Luther Vandross' was released in 2001 after a label move to J Records.
luther vandross - 2001 / dance with my father - 2003
The set was the biggest selling of all of Luthers albums and was seen as a real return to form.
Luther lost 9 stones in weight prior to the albums release!
In 2003, he completed an album entitled 'Dance With My Father' for the same label when disaster struck and Luther had a stroke.
There were reports of him never singing and even of his death.
Luther developed pneumonia and underwent a tracheotomy, at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, an operation which doctors reported would not affect his vocal chords.
Unfortunately, Luther Vandross died on the 1st July 2005 at the JFK Medical Centre, New Jersey, U.S.A. He was only 54.
He was laid to rest at the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Luther (Cotillion Records 1976)
This Close To You (Cotillion Records 1977)
Never Too Much (Epic Records 1981)
Forever, For Always, For Love (Epic Records 1982)
Busy Body (Epic Records 1983)
The Night I Fell In Love (Epic Records 1985)
Give Me The Reason (Epic Records 1986)
Any Love (Epic Records 1988)
Power Of Love (Epic Records 1991)
Never Let Me Go (Epic Records 1993)
Songs (Epic Records 1994)
This Is Christmas (Epic Records 1995)
Your Secret Love (Epic Records 1996)
I Know (Epic Records 1998)
Luther Vandross (J Records 2001)
Dance With My Father (J Records 2003)
Live At Radio City Hall (J Records 2003)
Live At Radio City Music Hall (J Records 2003)