Thanks to his understated elegance, impeccable phrasing and sophisticated style of delivering soul music, it’s hard to believe that anyone can say they’ve never heard, or heard of, Luther Vandross. Before he passed in 2005, the 54-year-old singer/songwriter/producer, who once scraped by singing commercial jingles and background vocals, had amassed a quarter century’s worth of hits, so titling anything by the superstar as a Hidden Gems may sound erroneous. However, due to the multiple smashes Mr. Vandross released over the years, other worthy numbers were overlooked or unrecognized, hence the reason for considering these selections as such.
Read more at SoulTracks.com.
Luther Vandross’ friend and collaborator, Fonzi Thornton, recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal about Luther and the new album Hidden Gems. Watch the interview in the video below.
Freddie Jackson shared a friendship and friendly rivalry with Luther Vandross, and he shares some of his memories of Luther in the video below.
Read more at TheUrbanDaily.com.
Today would have been Luther Vandross’ 61st birthday. In his honor, here is a special message from Luther’s best friend and music collaborator, Fonzi Thornton. Please share your birthday messages below and on Luther’s Facebook page!
Sirius XM Radio will launch “Luther Radio” on Friday April 20th, in time for what would have been Luther’s 61st birthday. The broadcast will air on Sirius XM channel 48 starting at 12 p.m. EDT through Monday, April 23rd. The channel will feature music from Luther Vandross’ 13 Gold and Platinum albums as well as rarities, archival concerts, and an archival interview with Luther from April 2003 with SiriusXM’s B.J. Stone.
The archived live performances will include Luther performing at Radio City Music Hall in 2003 and a performance for BBC Radio from 1988, which will be broadcast as part of SiriusXM’s “Live from the BBC Vault” concert series. Additionally, “Luther Radio” will include special guest DJ sessions by Luther’s backup singers Fonzi Thornton and Lisa Fischer.
Read more at SiriusXM.com.
There’s a moment toward the end of the dance track “You Really Started Something” where R&B legend Luther Vandross performs his trademark vocal runs. As he begins, he demonstrate the full range of his voice, transitioning from a low rumble to a transcendent high note. In between he softly laughs, clearly enjoying showing off his talent. Indeed, Vandross established himself as a consummate singer and interpreter during his all-too-short life, and his sheer joy of music and vocalization always shined through in his recordings. Some of these lesser-known tracks, culled from movie soundtracks and studio albums, have been compiled into a new collection, Hidden Gems. By the time the album ends with the aforementioned song, the listener understands why Vandross was such a unique talent and to this day is imitated, but never equaled.
Read more at Blinded By Sound.
Today is the day! Luther Vandross’ HIDDEN GEMS is available everywhere now! This collection of 15 seldom-heard deep album tracks and movie soundtrack songs includes liner notes written by Luther’s life-long collaborator Fonzi Thornton. HIDDEN GEMS spans the full timeline of Luther’s major label recording career, from the 1970s to the new millennium.
Fonzi Thornton has paid tribute to his late friend and collaborator, Luther Vandross, by helping to choose some special tracks for Luther’s Hidden Gems album, available everywhere April 17th. Friends and collaborators since their teenage years, Thornton helped produce the forthcoming album, which contains a treasure trove of cuts.
When you were both teenagers, you and Luther Vandross became friends. Can you talk a bit about those days and how you and he honed your talents over time?
I lived in the Johnson projects in East Harlem, New York and his sister Ann lived across the street from me. [Luther and I] were actually introduced by a girl in church who went to school with him. I knew him from the time we were both 14 years old.
Luther was a visionary, even when we were young. When I first met him, he had a vocal group called The Shades of Jade, a very funny name. It was a group he was developing. They would sing at amateur night at The Apollo just trying to get discovered. Luther was very advanced. He was always that same singer, that same interpreter. We [eventually] sang [together] in Shades of Jade, myself and two other singers.
Read more at DigitalJournal.com.