Luther Vandross - Composers, Family and Family

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Luther Vandross's Personal Details

Luther Vandross was an American singer-songwriter as well as record producer

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 20, 1951
Died onJuly 1, 2005
NationalityAmerican
FamousBlack Singers, Composers, Singers, Rhythm & Blues Singers
City/StateNew Yorkers
SiblingsAnn D. Sanders, Charles Anthony Vandross, Patricia van Dross, Patricia Vandross
Known asLuther Ronzoni Vandross Jr.
Universities
  • Western Michigan University
Birth PlaceNew York City
Height190cm
GenderMale
FatherLuther Vandross, Sr.
MotherMary Ida Vandross
Sun SignAries
Born inNew York City
Famous asSinger
Died at Age54

// Famous Rhythm & Blues Singers

Luther Vandross's photo

Who is Luther Vandross?

Luther Vandross, born as Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr., was an American singer-songwriter as well as record producer. Throughout his career, he mostly served as a background vocalist for numerous artists including Judy Collins, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, David Bowie and Donna Summer. He had also served as the lead singer of the group named Change. His popular albums include ‘The Glow of Love,’ ‘Never Too Much,’ ‘Busy Body,’ ‘The Night I Fell in Love,’ ‘Never Let Me Go’ and ‘Your Secret Love.’ He was also the voice behind iconic singles, such as "Any Love", "Never Too Much", "For You to Love”, "I Can Make It Better", "Here and Now", "The Closer I Get to You", "The Best Things in Life Are Free" and "Endless Love". Talking about his achievements, the American singer sold over 35 million records worldwide during his career. He won eight Grammy Awards, five Soul Train Music Awards, including a special honor, and nine American Music Awards. The most iconic song of his career, "Dance with My Father," was a huge hit among the masses at the time of its release and is listened to till date. During his music career, Vandross also toured several times, singing his hit tracks at various events.

// Famous Composers

Childhood & Early Life

Luther Vandross was born as Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. on April 20, 1951 in New York City, New York, USA. His mother, Mary Ida Van Dross, was a nurse and his father, Luther Van Dross Sr., was a singer and upholsterer.

At the age of three, Vandross started playing the piano by himself. His parents encouraged his musical talents.

When he was eight years old, his father died of diabetes after which his family moved to the Bronx. There, Vandross’ sisters Ann and Patricia started taking him to theatres.

Vandross attended William Howard Taft High School and graduated from there in 1969. Later he attended the Western Michigan University and dropped out of it after a year to pursue his music career.

Career

Luther Vandross started performing during his high school years. He sang many times at the Apollo Theater. During that time, he was also involved in the singles ‘Listen My Brother’ and ‘Only Love Can Make a Better World.’

In 1972, he added backing vocals to ‘Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway,’ the debut album by singers Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. He also worked for Delores Hall on her album ‘Hall-Mark’ and sang with her on the track "Who's Gonna Make It Easier for Me". He contributed to another single titled "In This Lonely Hour" as well.

In the late 1970s, the American singer was a member of the singing quintet Luther along with Diane Sumler, Anthony Hinton, Christine Wiltshire and Theresa V. Reed. The group released the singles "Funky Music”, "The Second Time Around" and "It's Good for the Soul" which were relatively successful. However, their albums ‘Luther’ and ‘This Close to You’ didn't sell enough.

From 1977 to early 1980, Vandross sang and wrote commercial jingles for companies including Mountain Dew, Juicy Fruit, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and NBC. In 1978, he sang for Greg Diamond's band, Bionic Boogie. The same year, he appeared on Quincy Jones's album ‘Sounds...and Stuff Like That’.

In the late 1970s, he sang with a band named Soirée and served as the lead singer for the song titled "You Are the Sunshine of My Life". Vandross also made his appearance in the group Charme's album, ‘Let It In.’ After this, he finally made his career breakthrough as a featured vocalist with the pop-dance act Change and gave many hits such as "The Glow of Love" and "Searching”.

Vandross then signed a recording contract with Epic Records. Soon after this, he released his debut album titled ‘Never Too Much’ that consisted of hit singles "Never Too Much" and “A House Is Not a Home".

In 1983, the American artist got the chance to work with Dionne Warwick, writing, producing and singing the song “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye”. Vandross also produced "It's Hard for Me to Say" for Diana Ross and even toured with her later.

He sang in Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover" in 1985. Soon after this, he lent his voice to the cartoon character Zack for the animated series ‘Zack of All Trades’. Vandross then released his compilation album titled ‘The Best of Luther Vandross… The Best of Love’.

In 1990, he wrote, sang, and produced the background vocals for Whitney Houston’s song "Who Do You Love". The same year, he made a guest appearance in the sitcom ‘227’. Then in 1994, the singer teamed with Mariah Carey and sang the cover version of the song "Endless Love"

He signed with J Records and released the album titled ‘Luther Vandross’ in 2001 which produced the hit songs "Take You Out" and "I'd Rather". In 2002, Vandross performed in his final event during his last tour that also featured Gerald Levert and Angie Stone.

In 2003, he collaborated on the song "What's Going On” for Doc Powell's album titled ‘97th and Columbus.’ The same year, Vandross released his final album ‘Dance with My Father’ that included the hits “Dance with My Father” and "Think About You".

Major Works

The single ‘Dance with My Father’ was the song that immortalized Luther Vandross. The lyrics were based on his childhood experiences and fondly recall memories of Vandross’ father who used to dance with his wife and young children. The song was a super-hit and also earned him two Grammy Awards.

Awards & Achievements

Luther Vandross won eight Grammy Awards in his music career, out of which four Grammys were for the songs "Dance with My Father" and "The Closer I Get to You" under different categories in 2004.

He won four Soul Train Music Awards under the category 'Best R&B/Soul Album – Male' for the songs "Give Me the Reason", "Here and Now", “Power of Love” and "Dance with My Father".

Vandross was also honored with American Music Awards nine times in his career.

On June 3, 2014, he was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Personal Life

According to his friend Bruce Vilanch, Luther Vandross was in a romantic relationship with a man during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Vandross, who never married, was later confirmed guy by his friend Patti LaBelle in 2017.

The American singer suffered from diabetes as well as hypertension. On July 1, 2005, he breathed his last at the age of 54.

After this death, a major portion of his estate was given as a gift to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Trivia

Author Craig Seymour wrote a book to honor Vandross. The book, titled ‘Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross,’ includes his interviews.

// Famous Black Singers

Luther Vandross awards

YearNameAward

Grammy Awards

2004Song of the YearWinner
2004Best R&B Vocal Performance - MaleWinner
2004Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or GroupWinner

Luther Vandross biography timelines

  • // 20th Apr 1951
    Luther Vandross was born as Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. on April 20, 1951 in New York City, New York, USA. His mother, Mary Ida Van Dross, was a nurse and his father, Luther Van Dross Sr., was a singer and upholsterer.
  • // 1969
    Vandross attended William Howard Taft High School and graduated from there in 1969. Later he attended the Western Michigan University and dropped out of it after a year to pursue his music career.
  • // 1972
    In 1972, he added backing vocals to ‘Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway,’ the debut album by singers Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. He also worked for Delores Hall on her album ‘Hall-Mark’ and sang with her on the track "Who's Gonna Make It Easier for Me". He contributed to another single titled "In This Lonely Hour" as well.
  • // 1977
    From 1977 to early 1980, Vandross sang and wrote commercial jingles for companies including Mountain Dew, Juicy Fruit, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken and NBC. In 1978, he sang for Greg Diamond's band, Bionic Boogie. The same year, he appeared on Quincy Jones's album ‘Sounds...and Stuff Like That’.
  • // 1983
    In 1983, the American artist got the chance to work with Dionne Warwick, writing, producing and singing the song “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye”. Vandross also produced "It's Hard for Me to Say" for Diana Ross and even toured with her later.
  • // 1985
    He sang in Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover" in 1985. Soon after this, he lent his voice to the cartoon character Zack for the animated series ‘Zack of All Trades’. Vandross then released his compilation album titled ‘The Best of Luther Vandross… The Best of Love’.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, he wrote, sang, and produced the background vocals for Whitney Houston’s song "Who Do You Love". The same year, he made a guest appearance in the sitcom ‘227’. Then in 1994, the singer teamed with Mariah Carey and sang the cover version of the song "Endless Love"
  • // 2001
    He signed with J Records and released the album titled ‘Luther Vandross’ in 2001 which produced the hit songs "Take You Out" and "I'd Rather". In 2002, Vandross performed in his final event during his last tour that also featured Gerald Levert and Angie Stone.
  • // 2003
    In 2003, he collaborated on the song "What's Going On” for Doc Powell's album titled ‘97th and Columbus.’ The same year, Vandross released his final album ‘Dance with My Father’ that included the hits “Dance with My Father” and "Think About You".
  • // 2004
    Luther Vandross won eight Grammy Awards in his music career, out of which four Grammys were for the songs "Dance with My Father" and "The Closer I Get to You" under different categories in 2004.
  • // 2005
    The American singer suffered from diabetes as well as hypertension. On July 1, 2005, he breathed his last at the age of 54.
  • // 2014
    On June 3, 2014, he was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

// Famous Singers

Luther Vandross's FAQ

  • What is Luther Vandross birthday?

    Luther Vandross was born at 1951-04-20

  • When was Luther Vandross died?

    Luther Vandross was died at 2005-07-01

  • Where was Luther Vandross died?

    Luther Vandross was died in Edison

  • Which age was Luther Vandross died?

    Luther Vandross was died at age 54

  • Where is Luther Vandross's birth place?

    Luther Vandross was born in New York City

  • What is Luther Vandross nationalities?

    Luther Vandross's nationalities is American

  • Who is Luther Vandross siblings?

    Luther Vandross's siblings is Ann D. Sanders, Charles Anthony Vandross, Patricia van Dross, Patricia Vandross

  • What was Luther Vandross universities?

    Luther Vandross studied at Western Michigan University

  • How tall is Luther Vandross?

    Luther Vandross's height is 190

  • Who is Luther Vandross's father?

    Luther Vandross's father is Luther Vandross, Sr.

  • Who is Luther Vandross's mother?

    Luther Vandross's mother is Mary Ida Vandross

  • What is Luther Vandross's sun sign?

    Luther Vandross is Aries

  • How famous is Luther Vandross?

    Luther Vandross is famouse as Singer