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Paulette McWilliams On Working With Luther Vandross

Paulette McWilliams

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, singer Paulette McWilliams talked about her friendship and work with Luther Vandross. An excerpt:

I started on the road with Luther in 1984. I started recording with him in 1980. … And while I was on the road with Luther, we did all kinds of things. We did sessions. It was such a learning experience. … He was just a consummate artist. There was no one like him. No one. He took what he saw and realized that nobody in the R&B world did shows like that. He set a precedent. He brought what he learned to the table and said, “This is going to happen.”

Read more at Rolling Stone.

Photo from PauletteMcWilliams.com

Luther Vandross Celebrated on 70th Birthday with Google Doodle Animation

Luther Vandross

Four Signature Singles Awarded RIAA Certifications:

“Dance With My Father,” “Here and Now” and “Endless Love” Achieve RIAA Platinum Status; “A House Is Not A Home” Certified RIAA Gold

Upgraded HD “Never Too Much” Video Available Now

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announces the RIAA certification of four of Luther Vandross’ signature singles: “Dance With My Father” (Platinum), “Here and Now” (Platinum), “Endless Love” (Platinum) and “A House Is Not A Home” (Gold).

The iconic American singer, songwriter and record producer Luther Vandross would have turned 70 on April 20, 2021 and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the artist’s debut solo studio album, Never Too Much, originally released by Epic Records on August 12, 1981. In celebration of Luther and his solo debut, the classic “Never Too Much” video has been upgraded to HD and made available Friday, April 16.

As part of Luther Vandross’ 70th Birthday, Google has joined the celebration with an original Google Doodle animation. With Luther’s 1981 debut solo single “Never Too Much” serving as the soundtrack, Google visitors are taken on a colorful, joyous ride highlighting the special moments Luther’s career has brought to fans around the globe.

“It is a true reflection of Luther Vandross’ musical legacy around the world to be honored by Google with an animated Doodle that fittingly captures the joy Luther has brought the world. Luther made each of his songs about one simple, universal subject – love; an emotion and feeling common to the human experience no matter who you are, where you’re from or what you look like. No one else has expressed this emotion in song to the level Luther did for over 35 years, and to have Google broadcast that around the world is a wonderful showcase of his immeasurable talent.” – the Luther Vandross Estate.

Released as a single in 1981 and now newly-certified RIAA Gold, Luther Vandross’ “A House Is Not A Home” is a tour-de-force centerpiece track from Never Too Much. The only song on the album not written by Luther, “A House Is Not A Home” was penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1964 film of the same name and first recorded by Dionne Warwick. Luther’s epic interpretation became an R&B hit while his performance at the 1988 NAACP Awards reportedly moved Warwick to tears. Essence magazine included Luther’s cover of the song in their “25 Best Slow Jams of All Time” list in 2009.

Newly-certified RIAA Platinum, “Here and Now” was released as a single in 1989 and appears on The Best of Luther Vandross… The Best of Love. The track became Luther’s fifth #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart and his first to break into the Top 10 (at #6) of the Billboard Hot 100. “Here and Now” earned Luther his first Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1991.

Written by Lionel Richie and originally recorded as a duet between Lionel and the legendary Diana Ross in 1981, “Endless Love” was already an R&B/pop classic when Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey recorded the tune for Luther’s 1994 Epic Records covers album, Songs. An electrifying superstar collaboration rivaling the original, Luther and Mariah’s interpretation–the second single from Songs–was nominated for a Grammy in 1995 in the newly-created Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals category. “Endless Love” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Luther’s highest-charting pop hit and his fifth Top 10 single. The track achieved RIAA Gold status in October 1994 and has recently reached Platinum. The title track from what would be Luther’s final studio album, “Dance with My Father” was co-written with Richard Marx and inspired by Luther’s childhood memories. The album, Dance with My Father entered the Billboard 200 at #1 while the title track became one of the most requested songs of the year. “Dance with My Father” took home Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in February 2004. The track was certified RIAA Gold in November 2005 and is now RIAA Platinum.

#FANDROSSFRIDAY: ‘If Only For One Night’ & ‘Creepin”

In celebration of the March 1985 release of Luther’s album, The Night I Fell in Love, FANDROSS extended our March Madness mini series to ensure you got every glorious ounce of goodness from it. This album was certified Double Platinum and so as we close out this series here’s a double dose of song and facts.

“If Only for One Night” was written by singer-songwriter Brenda Russell, also known for her hit, “Piano in the Dark.” “Creepin'” was written and sung by Stevie Wonder, who plays a harmonica solo in his version. Luther’s remakes are genius.

Loads of love and gratitude to Fonzi Thornton, thorn world, for providing his archival concert footage and LGK Marketing for impeccable creativity and awesome, quality editing.

#FANDROSSFRIDAY: ‘Wait For Love’

In celebration of the release of Luther’s fourth studio album in March 1985, The Night I Fell in Love, FANDROSS has its own version of March Madness in a mini-series for you to enjoy.

This week’s feature is “Wait for Love” with rare archival concert footage from thorn world.

For all in waiting, LV knew and understood how “sometimes love takes a long time,” which may feel more like a long, long, long, long, long time … Yet he encourages you to “Wait for Love,” YOUR love. Because if you do “you’re gonna get your chance” … So be ready to grab it.

#FANDROSSFRIDAY: ‘My Sensitivity’

In celebration of the release of Luther’s fourth studio album in March 1985, The Night I Fell in Love, FANDROSS has its own version of March Madness in a mini-series for you to enjoy.

This week’s feature is “My Sensitivity.” With an intimately staged theatre-in-the-round, Luther and his vocalists create a dreamy, sexy performance of his “autobiography” song, as he called it.

As Luther slides across the stage in his lightweight cardigan, the ladies still manage to look graceful and elegant in their slinky red dresses, even though their attire had a whopping 15 pounds of beads! And it’s no wonder everyone has such polished dance moves… the choreographer for this tour, Lester Wilson, also choreographed Saturday Night Fever.

This rare and exclusive video footage is courtesy of thorn world.

#FANDROSSFRIDAY: ”Til My Baby Comes Home’

The Night I Fell in Love album featuring “‘Til My Baby Comes Home”

In celebration of the release of Luther’s fourth studio album in March 1985, The Night I Fell in Love, FANDROSS has its own version of March Madness in a mini-series for you to enjoy.

This week’s feature is “‘Til My Baby Comes Home.” The album was released on March 8, 1985 but this single, written by Luther Vandross and Marcus Miller, was released two months earlier. We’ve combined rare concert footage and commentary from Luther’s tour mates for this special production.

In Vegas 2001, the strip was hot as Luther and his crew took to the stage with this funky version of “‘Til My Baby Comes Home.”

Exclusive archival video is courtesy of thorn world.

#FANDROSSFRIDAY: The Night I Fell In Love

Luther Vandross The Night I Fell In Love

In celebration of the release of Luther’s fourth studio album in March 1985, The Night I Fell in Love, FANDROSS has its own version of March Madness for you to enjoy.

This exclusive concert footage from Thorn World is mixed with little-known stories from Luther’s team. Here are some other fun facts from The Night I Fell in Love album:

  • “Creepin” was written and sung by Steve Wonder. His version includes a harmonica solo.
  • Artist Billy Preston performs a dazzling feature on the organ in “‘Til My Baby Comes Home.”
  • Luther’s mother Mary Ida, and his sisters Pat and Ann, were featured in the “It’s Over Now” music video as the nosy neighbors.