In a recent interview, Lisa Fischer was asked about the most memorable show where she performed as a backup singer. Her answer:
I would say Luther Vandross Live at Royal Albert Hall would be it. I was touring with the Stones in Chicago, and then Luther had a private plane waiting for me to make it to London in time to do sound check, makeup and dress for the performance. … I was so exhausted, but his music and teachings were so a part of everything I had become that doing the show was real and surreal all at the same time. His voice, his melodies, my fellow background singers (Kevin, Ava, Tawatha and Pat) and the choreography that I’d been doing for years was so joyous. … It was like a public family reunion.
Read more at Steamboat Pilot & Today.
The Telegraph has compiled its list of the 50 best love songs of the 1980s, and you can’t make that list without Luther!
The newspaper calls its pick — Luther Vandross’ “So Amazing,” from the 1986 album Give Me The Reason — an “exquisite soul soufflé. Makes you believe a man can fly” with the killer line, “I’d follow you to the moon in the sky above.”
Read the complete list of 1980s love songs at The Telegraph.
April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005
Happy Father’s Day this weekend! To celebrate, we’re taking a look at the music video for “Dance With My Father,” the Grammy-winning title track from Luther Vandross’ 2003 album. A personal tribute to his late father, Luther wrote “Dance With My Father” with Richard Marx, winning Song of the Year and Best R&B Vocal Performance – Male at the Grammy Awards. The album Dance With My Father also won Best R&B Album.
The music video below shows images from Luther’s childhood and life, and clips of Luther’s friends with their families.
It’s official – Luther Vandross is now on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Watch this video from the event!
WHO: Luther Vandross
Emcee: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Nile Rodgers and Marcus Miller
WHAT: 2,526th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
in the Category of RECORDING
WHERE: 1717 Vine Street in front of The Redbury Hotel
WHEN: Tuesday. June 3, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. PDT
Event will be live-streamed exclusively on www.walkoffame.com
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce proudly announces that the late Luther Vandross will be honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star will be unveiled at 1717 Vine Street overlooking the recording industry’s iconic building Capitol Records. “Luther’s unparalleled voice and forever romantic tunes such as “Never Too Much,” “Power Of Love”, “Here And Now,” “House Is Not A Home,” “So Amazing” and “Dance With My Father” are known the world over,” stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies. “We are honored to hold this dedication for a very special performer whose music will resonate for all time.”
Leron Gubler and guest speakers Nile Rodgers and Marcus Miller will be on hand to unveil the star for Vandross in the category of Recording at 1717 Vine Street. Accepting the star on behalf of the family will be Luther’s niece Seveda Williams and longtime friend Alfonso “Fonzi” Thornton. The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.
Since the passing of Luther Vandross in 2005, one constant has remained to define his life and musical success: his unforgettable voice. Amongst the greatest singers of the past 100 years, Luther Vandross’ voice and distinct singing style led to not only monumental success, but to instant recognition when you hear him singing–through your stereo, car radio, on TV or in a movie.
Coupled with that voice, was Luther’s unique ability to write and sing about love and the shared emotions we all feel in that search for and the enjoyment of love. Love of family, friends, that special someone–all were themes Luther explored with his music regularly, reaching many. Through his songs, Luther Vandross became a staple in the most joyous moments of people’s lives.
Luther Vandross was born on April 20, 1951 at Bellevue Hospitalin Manhattan, New York City, United States. He was the fourth child and second son to Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross, Sr.
Luther spent his early years living on the Lower East Sideof Manhattanin New York City in the NYCHAAlfred E. Smith Houses. His mother saw to it that he begin piano lessons when he was only three years old. Luther once stated, “Her influence was incredible, my brother would get a bicycle for Christmas and I would get an Aretha Franklin album!” Luther was also influenced by his sister Pat, who sang in vocal groups in her teens.
Inspired by hearing Dionne Warwick for the first time at the Brooklyn Fox Theater, Luther began writing original songs and started his own vocal group during high school, appearing in local talent shows. After placing 2nd at the famed Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in New York City, Luther joined the theater’s Listen My Brother Revue which opened for Sly and The Family Stone and later appeared on the first two seasons of “Sesame Street” singing ‘Learn Something”, “Count to 20” and “Those Are The ABC’s.”
Honing his signature vocal style and writing skills, Luther went on to attend Western Michigan Universitybefore continuing to pursue a career in music. Already a formidable vocalist and skilled vocal arranger, Luther landed work as a backing singer at top recording sessions.
Luther quickly became one of the best kept secrets in popular music. Few people outside the industry knew his name, but millions heard his remarkable sensual voice on countless commercials. From time to time he made efforts to break out of that lucrative, but restrictive area, either through albums by his own group Luther, or performing on albums from Quincy Jones, Brecker Bros and Bionic Boogie. Many of these were promising recordings, but failed to generate enough momentum to propel Luther to the next level.
A milestone in his career came in 1974, when childhood friend, guitarist Carlos Alomar, invited Luther to Philadelphia to watch a David Bowie session Carlos was playing on. Bowie overheard Luther singinga soulful line he created while listening to the playback of “Young Americans” and asked him to go on mic and record it. Luther’s creation became the famed chorus of Bowie’s hit “Young Americans.” Liking what he heard, Bowie brought Luther into the fold to do vocal arrangements and take charge of his touring vocalists. And for a time, Luther (the group) was Bowie’s opening act. After hearing a Luther original called “Funky Music,” Bowie asked him to rewrite it as “Fascination” and recorded the song on his Young Americans album. Later Bowie introduced Luther to Bette Midler who was equally impressed, leading to Luther doing arrangements for Midler and touring with her as a backing vocalist.
From 1972 through 1980, Luther chalked up credits on albums by such greats as Diana Ross, Roberta Flack, Gary Glitter, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Donna Summer, Bette Midler, Chic, and Barbra Streisand. After appearing on two hit records in 1980 by the pop-dance act Change, Epic Records signed Luther Vandross. In 1981, Luther’sdebut solo album “Never Too Much” was released, and it was quickly apparent that his voice was going to be a lasting presence for generations to come.
For 25 years, from 1981 to 2005, Luther dominated the American R&B music charts like no other artist before or since. In that span, Luther released eight No. 1 R&B albums, seven No. 1 R&B singles and another five Top 20 R&B singles. He achieved crossover status with eight Billboard Top 10 albums, including reaching No. 1 with 2003’s “Dance With My Father,” and another five Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 singles.
From 1981 to 1996, Luther Vandross released an unprecedented 11 consecutive platinum/double platinum albums on CBS/Sony Music’s Epic Records label. At the time of his passing in 2005, 13 of Luther’s 14 studio albums had gone Platinum or multi-platinum.
Overall, Luther received 31 Grammy Award nominations, winning eight times. Additionally, Luther won eight American Music Awards, including Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist seven times.
Luther’s songs have appeared in a vast number of movies, and he contributed original songs for sixteen films, including “Bustin’ Loose,” “The Goonies,” “Ruthless People,” “Made In Heaven,” “House Party,” “Hero,” “Money Train,” “Dr. Dolittle 2” and “Barbershop 2.” Luther’s version of “One Shining Moment” continues to be used every spring as the celebration song for the winning university in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Luther Vandross died on July 1, 2005 in Edison, New Jerseyat the age of 54, following complications from a stroke two years earlier. He had been in entertainment for 35 years. His funeralin New York Cityone week later featured musical tributes by Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Cissy Houston, Usher, and Alicia Keys, along with special remembrances by Patti Labelle, Dionne Warwick and Fonzi Thornton.
Throughout his distinguished career, Luther Vandross was active in charitable causes with the United Negro College Fund and the NY Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, in addition to performing at numerous charity concerts, most notably Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World” concerts in the 1990s.
In 2008, Luther was ranked number 54 on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s List of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, Luther was named one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices.
Luther Vandross was a musical master whose style has influenced an entire generation of today’s vocalists. His distinctive brand of satin smooth vocal magic moved international audiences and continues to touch people to this day. Luther Vandross was undeniably one of the most significant vocalists and performers of our time!
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME www.WalkOfFame.com
The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an internationally-recognized Hollywood icon. With approximately 24 star ceremonies annually broadcast around the world, the constant reinforcement provided to the public has made the Walk of Fame a top visitor attraction. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce continues to add stars on the Walk of Fame as the representative of the City of Los Angeles. The Walk of Fame is a tribute to all of those who worked diligently to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction. The Walk of Fame is open to the public. No paid admission or assigned seating at star ceremonies. It is understood that the cost of installing a star on the Walk of Fame upon approval is $30,000 and the sponsor of the nominee accepts the responsibility for arranging for payment to the Hollywood Historic Trust, a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. The funds are used to pay for the creation/installation of the star and ceremony, as well as maintenance of the Walk of Fame.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Sign are registered trademarks of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
For more information and to view who shares a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit www.walkoffame.com
In honor of Luther Vandross’ birthday, fans can enter for a chance to win his complete Sony discography for a limited time only. Enter now!
We’d also like to remind all of you Luther Vandross fans that this year Luther will be honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with a legendary Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Please stay tuned as more details on this historic day will be coming shortly!
Here is a look back at one of Luther’s hits, a cover of “Love The One You’re With” from the 1994 album Songs. Luther’s recording earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male in 1995.
Here is this year’s version of “One Shining Moment,” as performed by the great Luther Vandross, for the 2014 Men’s Division I Basketball Championship.
FORGET WHAT THE FOX SAID, TIME FOR “CHRISTMAS CATS TV”!
Legacy Recordings To Debut Interactive Online Experience Featuring Silly Antics Of Wacky Grandma, Adoptable Cats From
North Shore Animal League America and music from the Classic Christmas Album series
3 Day Live Streaming Site Set to Run December 4, 5, 6
Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is ringing in the holidays with the launch of “Christmas Cats TV,” (http://christmascats.tv) an interactive, live steam Christmas scene set to run December 4th – December 6th. For three days, eight hours a day, people at home can watch a LIVE stream of a wacky grandma “cat lady” in her home, rocking, knitting, and hanging out with room full of adoptable cats available for adoption thanks to the North Shore Animal League America.
“Christmas Cats TV” will not only allow online visitors the opportunity to watch the silly antics between grandma and her cats unfold, the public will also be able to participate while enjoying music from Legacy’s Classic Christmas Album series. Visitors will be able to chat with others on the site and influence the live stream of the Christmas Cats holiday tableaus via Twitter for instant results, view Christmas Cat bios, check out Christmas Cat playlists and help find homes for Christmas cats available for adoption all while listening to classic Christmas music.
With “Christmas Cats TV,” Legacy Recordings provides a charitable perspective on its Classic Christmas Album series. The 2013 Classic Christmas Albums, released October 8, include Barbra Streisand, Alabama, Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Martina McBride, and Andy Williams. Launched in 2011 with Tony Bennett’s Classic Christmas Album, the series also includes titles by John Denver, Kenny G, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and Luther Vandross.
With many of the artist’s holiday albums either out-of-print, never issued on CD, or now highly collectible rarities, each new title in the Classic Christmas Album series is a cross-section of those hard-to-find classics.
“Christmas Cats TV” combines the things we love most–music, Christmas and cats, wrapping them into fun interactive holiday entertaining experience for people of all ages to enjoy.
ABOUT LEGACY RECORDINGS
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog division, produces and maintains the world’s foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally re-mastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.
ABOUT NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA
Animal League America has saved more than 1,000,000 lives. As the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, we understand that a rescue isn’t complete until each animal is placed into a loving home. Our innovative programs provide education to reduce animal cruelty and advance standards in animal welfare. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly in the pursuit of our vision of a world where all companion animals find permanent homes to end euthanasia. For more information, visit www.animalleague.org.