Kevin Winter, Getty Images

 

On April 20th 1951, at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York,  a star was born, Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr.

 

His Mom and Dad had no idea how many lives their son would touch through the sounds of his voice.  Throughout the beginning of Luther Vandross career, he was an in-demand background vocalist for different artists including Chaka KhanBette MidlerDiana RossDavid BowieBarbra StreisandBen E. King, and Donna Summer, to name a few. 

After being a back up singer for several people, he later became a lead singer of the group Change, which released its gold-certified debut album, The Glow of Love, in 1980. Not long after that, Luther left the group and was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, in 1981. After that, the rest became history!  During Luther Vandross career, he sold over 35 million records and won eight Grammy Awards. 

Luther Vandross is known as one of the best singers of all time!

Luther suffered from hypertension and diabetes . On April 16, 2003, Vandross suffered a severe stroke while he was at home in NYC. He stayed in a coma just about two months.The stroke affected his ability to speak and sing, he also had to use a wheelchair.

In 2004 at the Grammy's, he appeared in a pre-taped video  to accept his Song of the Year Award for "Dance with My Father", saying, "When I say goodbye it's never for long, then started singing "because I believe in the power of love"  His mother, Mary, accepted the award on his behalf. His last public appearance was on Oprah, May 6, 2004 .Luther Vandross fans were in shock when the word came out that he had died on July 1, 2005, at the JFK Medical Center in New Jersey, at the age of 54.

While remembering the life Luther Today, what was your favorite song by Luther?