Apr 20, 2015
By Valerie Massie
American singer, songwriter and record producer Luther Vandross was born today in 1951. Throughout his career, Vandross was an in demand background vocalist for several different artists including Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Barbra Streisand, Ben E. King, and Donna Summer. He later became the lead singer of the group Change, which released its certified gold debut album, The Glow of Love, in 1980 on Warner Bros. Records. After Vandross left the group, he was signed to Epic Records as a solo artist and released his debut solo album, Never Too Much, in 1981.
During his career, Vandross sold over 25 million records worldwide, and received eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times.
April 16, 2003 Vandross suffered a severe stroke at his home in New York City. The stroke left him in a coma for nearly two months, unable to sing or speak. Vandross died on July 1, 2005 at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey at the age of 54.