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LUTHER VANDROSS TRIBUTE, PT 3 - THE PUBLIC
"Hello Luther, I don't know where you are, but I'm sure wherever you are, you are happy because you found your father and you dance with him once again. Let me tell you, you were my medicine. I mean, when I was down I listened to you sing and all my darkness goes away. I have footage of when you sang "A House Is Not A Home" at the NAACP Image Awards. You were so touching, beautiful, so great, so wonderful. In a word, you surpassed yourself that night. Before going to bed, I watched it and it became my sleeping pill. You know I love you. Now I'm sad because you are not there and I can't be running to Virgin stores or to FNAC to buy your new release or flying to London to see you when touring brought you to there. I have had unforgettable and wonderful moments at your live concerts. You were a man of merit. Thank you to your parents for conceiving you. Today, I'm an orphan for the second time (I lost my beloved parents and now I lost you). You have to know, like my parents, you'll remain in my heart always and forever. God bless you and may you rest in peace. I miss you awfully. I will keep in my heart all the best moments I've had; that's how I think of you. Bye bye Luther, I love you. I'd like to tell to Luther's mother that she is not alone, I offer her my sympathy." - Riama SAID / Paris France

"My name is Jason, I am 26 and it was March 2003 when I went off to war. I had been a great admirer of Mr. Vandross and still am today. I took a small CD walkman with me to Iraq and every time I would find my self down spirited all I would have to do is play one of the many CDs and all things seemed better. Letters from my family and his amazing music is all that keep me going at times and I could never repay him for that. I lost all those CDs when I was medevaced out due to an injury, but I will not stop till I replace them. Its a big loss to the music industry and the world, but he is in a better place now. My heart goes out to his family and friends. He will always be a part of my life, in my heart, mind, and in my radio. God bless him and his family." - A Guardian of Freedom - Kco3rdSOG@aol.com

"Dear Luther,

Below is a letter I wrote to cheer you up while you were sick but I never quite made it since it was not quite finished and i couldnt figure out how to get it to you ... i should have tried harder. It would have made you happy ... and me happier. i hope and know you will be able to read it wherever u r and know that you touched my heart in such a way it can never be touched and still do no matter how many times I hear your voice. You will stay with me till the end of time ... for me you are still alive as you have always been in my hat! You are a blessing to me and I thank God for you in my life...

I love you." - NaaYaa

"I Didn’t Let You Know ….

Hello Luther,

I don’t know how to start this but I would really like to talk to you. Maybe I should tell you a story …

Years back, there was a guy who was crazy about this musician, fell in love with his songs, never parting with his CDs and had a collection of this artiste. Meeting his childhood friend after many years, he introduced to her the “love of his life” as he used to call him, so to speak. They spent hours upon hours listening to his music, appreciating every word, every lyric, every tune, building their dreams on his songs. The music kept them alive, kept them sweet, kept them dreaming. Unfortunately this guy passed away in an accident and she just couldn’t bear to take a last look simply because she wanted to keep it alive with the cherished memories. And guess what - the only thing she has of him now is one of the artiste’s CD he actually loaned to her a few weeks before he died – the one they used to enjoy together.

She listens to the CD now, she is kept alive, kept sweet, kept dreaming but without him. She has begun realising her dream but he’s not here – to tell him, to share it with him. But she is filled with cherished memories – lasting one, though she misses him dearly.

Luther, as I listen to you everyday I hear his voice so often.

Well, what I am trying to tell you is through your music you gave someone joy, happiness, an opportunity to dream, way back in Ghana. You made him happy and appreciative of life, which makes me happy. I remember the day we listened “I’d rather” together, his face lit up and we listened to it over and over.

I still dream and build my dreams as we used to, listening to your songs, I feel so alive and sweet. That’s what you still do to me – an amazing effect, your voice, after all these years. I cherished what we shared together … forever.

My mummy always used to say “Everything happens for a reason and there’s a lesson in there to be learnt”. What happened to you happened for a reason and there’s a lesson for you to learn. So I would like you to have faith and believe all will be well. Keep dreaming like we did and I still do, believe in your dream and they will come true. And Remember always you made a positive lasting impact on us and many more others.

Now I am going to do something I used to do when I was a teenager. When you read it, I hope it cheers you up and lifts your spirit always. Enjoy …

I Thought You’d Be There Forever …..

You had to go too. I never for once thought you would go away forever like mummy and daddy did. And it had to be before my 35th birthday … Well I have gotta finish what I promised to do in the beginning. I do not how I am gonna get it to you as before but I believe where ever you are you are watching over me, reading what I am doing for you. Enjoy … Searching for The Glow of Love knowing it is Never Too Much. Since I lost My baby (that makes two) and Promise Me that you would keep the faith 'Till My Baby Come Home'

I’d take time to Stop To Love someone who would love me in return, if Only For One Night. As you know Love Won’t Let Me Wait especially since I am dying to Treat You Right Here And Now. Don’t You Know That? if You Stopped Loving Me I’d think If I Did Not Know You Better I’d say you are lying. Can I Take you out to Bring Your Heart To Mine.

Let Make Tonight the night coz The Closer I Get To You the more I Think About You asking myself If I Was the One. Love Forgot to Buy Me A Rose, If It Ain't One Thing. Say It Now, Hearts Get Broken All The Time yet I’d Rather, Any day Now …

It is So Amazing to have known and love you guys in ma life coz There Is Nothing Better Than Love. It will always Gives Me A Reason to Live life to the fullest. If This World Were Mine, I’d give anything to have you guys here. This House Is Not A Home without you guys in it. I actually asked Can Heaven Wait? each time I heard the news of my friend's death and yours but since you have always yearned to Dance With your Father again, it may be perfect. Are You there, guys, don't be Like I'm Invisible coz I miss you so much and it's a Lovely Day coz I spent it listening to ur voice, to the words. And it said 'they said you needed me' and that's excellent coz I need you too ... I love you Luther." NaaYaa

"Dearest Luther, I had never missed a concert, a new release, never missed anything to do with you Luther. But I didn't pick the paper up July 1st. or even turn on the news, God was watching over me in those hours since I was recovering from heart surgery and HE knew I would fall apart completely. My world fell apart July 3rd when my Daddy called me to find out if I was ok. I asked why? He hesitated and said, Luther passed. I cried for a week and I am still mourning. I love you Luther, thank you for being such a major part of my life, from Sesame Street to Live 2003 @ Radio City Music Hall (I was the one in front sceaming "I love you Luther") I will never let your memory die, I have everything with your voice on it, even the ones most people don't recognize. I will miss you, but I'll never forget you. Today is the first time I have listened to one of your cds without bawling like a baby (just a few tears). My own special tribute to you, from Never Too Much all the way to Dance with my Father, I started at 9am, it's now midnight. Listening to When I Need You, and trying to hold back tears, closing my eyes right now, listening to the beautiful words you're singing. It's strange to realize I will never again rush out to buy your music as soon as the release is announced. I've been there for all of it, every concert, even travelled from Denver CO to say goodbye one last time, I cherish every word that you have ever sang. Sleep peacefully, you are an angel. Dance with your Father for eternity. I love you always." - President of Luther Vandross Fan Club - Denver CO chapter and Oakland CA chapter, Karla Bryant - kebryant@earthlink.net

"What I would say about Luther is that he had a song for every moment in one's life and that has made him one of the great musicians of our time. It is a huge loss for all of us. As a fan, Ii say RIP King Luther." - lizo - 2357991@uwc.ac.za

"Luther, I was so deeply sadden to hear of your passing my brother. You have touched my heart, my soul ,my memories, I will never forget you, I know for sure that you now are the "King" of the choir in heaven. Sing on my sweet brother until we meet again, I will Love You "Always and Forever" My deepest sympathy to his Dear Sweet Mother ,Family and Friends. Sleep Well My Friend." - A Loving Fan Carol Clark Philly, PA

"Dear Luther... You were always there to guide me. If there was a problem with love, you always had an answer in your songs. When love didn't treat me right you were my healer. When love was there for me, you sang of joy and taught me actually how to fall in love. Ever since I bought the single "Never Too Much" till today, you will always be my No. 1 "Soul Singer" and especially the luuuv songs (the way Luther says it). My condolences go to his family and friends." - From Mats With love

"I just finished Craig Seymour's book on Luther. Finally I can come to terms with his death. My love of the Luther started at the age of 15, when I attended a Luther concert with DeBarge opening. I went to see El DeBarge, but came out a Luther fan for life. That was the show that the video for Superstar was recorded from, and the beginning of my awakening to life. His showmanship and "joi de vivre" spoke in ways that other performers just had to take notice to. There will be other R & B singers, but only one Luther Vandross. Every African-American in America can thank Luther for helping them to express some emotion at some point in their lives. Luther, I will miss you terribly and pray that you finally have the love and peace you gave to others." - Toysha N. Mayer, HT(ASCP) tmayer1@houston.rr.com

"“Never Too Much”. It was 1981 and I had just met my “future husband”. I didn’t know that then. “Never too much” will always be our first love song. We were unemployed and poor but felt so rich in love. I saved enough to buy my man a Hayman bass guitar so he could play with the song. Luther now joins the many of my most beloved and talented singers/songwriters jammin’ in the big session in the sky. 25 years ago my husband and I could “never too much” and it must be true cuz we’re still together. Thank you Luther. You will forever be with us." - Valerie

"I've been thinking alot about Luther this past week, I suppose lots of people have. We're going through the grieving process and that's good. We realize that Luther was a singular talent and history will reveal this to be true. But, ugly, vicious, and unnecessary focus in some of the press, has been on Luther's very private life. Without getting into details, his true fans don't care who Luther was sleeping with. It's none of our business, and if the "out and proud" pundits are so quick to judge while arguing that whomever "they're" sleeping with shouldn't matter when it comes to jobs, education, military service, etc., well it seems the height of hypocrisy that Luther shouldn't be given the same right to privacy. His legacy as an artist is assured. His conduct as a person, by all accounts was unimpeachable, save a few diva moments. He most probably had his demons, we all do, but when it's finally said and done, he left us with the greatest gift of all...Love. Thank you Luther." - sonjmac@yahoo.com

"Goodbye dear Luther, and thanks. Soul music will never be the same." - Stefano Concion, Italy

"I had the chance to meet Luther for an interview at the hotel George V (Paris) in 1993. While being impressed by a man with such a career, I discovered a nice man maybe on of the nicest one. This 30 minutes discussion will remain one of my best moments in my life. RIP." - Jean-Claude MORLOT SOUL BAG Magazine (Paris France), www.soulcorner.com

"For me to say that I was Luther's biggest fan would not be right as I believe he touched the hearts of lots of people as he especially touched mine. His beautiful songs touched me so much and I am deeply saddened to hear about his death. He will be forever missed and forever a true legend. May his legacy live on!!! Even though I am only 15 years of age, he was a true inspiration to me and I admired him greatly. God bless him and may he be at peace. Love." - Gemma

"I AM a huge fan of Luther Vandross. I was stunned when I was told of his passing. The very next day I heard one of my "many" favorites of his on the radio "Endless Love" and tears came to my eyes. Ironically, when a singer passes away, they obviously still live in on in their music, so you almost have to stop and think, and then unfortunately remember that they are gone...but NEVER FORGOTTEN. There are so many Luther songs that are memories in my life. A particular song will come on the radio and I will remember which guy I was dating, or which break-up it represents, or just enjoy that stunning voice he had. I saw him many years ago here in my hometown of Montreal, Canada, and he was so amazing. It truly is such a very big loss and such a shame. My sincere sympathies go out to his family and to all of us, his many, many fans. There will never be another Luther." Thank you." - rhovee@sprint.ca

"Growing up was almost impossible without mentioning how great Luther and his music placed upon my life. Even though I do recall Luther’s "Never Too Much" and the Quiet storm classic, "A House Is Not A Home", it was the "The Night I Fell In Love", the entire LP, that had me captured and captivated, engulfed in Luther’s world. His world of love and hope, surrounded by compassion and humility, was definitely captured on record. Songs like "‘Til My Baby Comes Home", "If Only For One Night", "Wait For Love" and "My Sensitivity" became anthems in my heart. And yes, hearing Luther take on songs that were already classics such as "Superstar", "Always and Forever" and "Love Won’t Let Me Wait" and transforming them into abundant orchestrated adventures was a technique Luther mastered. And what he did only one artist to my knowledge could do such a thing and that was Issac Hayes. Luther’s voice lit up a dark, gloomy room with such elegance and tranquility. His music transformed a lifeless spirit into a jubilant creation of radiance and joy. Truly, he will be missed, but never forgotten. I’m just so blessed to know that I lived long enough to witness Luther’s life from beginning to end. From the days of Chic and Change to his very earthly departure. His music lives on and is truly the purest form of soothing and sensual R&B music. We love you Luther...forever, for always, for love." - J. Matthew Cobb, PRAYZEHYMN Entertainment, Birmingham, AL

"Dear Luther, My name is Juson Williams from NYC. For years, I have been preparing my life to get the chance to sing with my number one idol. I grew up being called "THE YOUNG LUTHER" I LOVED IT. Your music has and always will encourage me to soar higher and higher, as well as ease my pain and bring me joy. Ever since I could remember, you have been my vocal coach, my teacher, my influence and my muse (THROUGH CONCERTS, CD, OR VIDEO OF COURSE. HA HA). When I am having trouble writing lyrics or vocal parts for my own music, I would put on "The Best Of Luther" and it gave me the answer. Whenever I use a riff in a showcase that I am performing in, I always say 'I stole this from Luther.' I was just about to write a letter to Oprah to convince her that I was your number one fan and that it has been a life long dream to meet and sing with you. On Friday, July first, at about 7pm, I was on my way to a show and my sister called me and asked "did you hear that Luther passed?" My first response was "No!" and thought that it was the wrong information, because the media has a way of getting the wrong info. Therefore, I called some friends and to my sad surprise, I received confirmation. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go on that night until the M.C. came on stage and dedicated the performance to you, Mr Vandross. Although we have never met, I feel this connection with you like no other. Luther, you will truly be missed but never ever forgotten. If and when I make it in this business, I would love for you to guide me through. Your family will be in my prayers. Thank you for coming into my life and sharing the real meaning of what music really is. I do not want to stop writing, for there is so much more that I could say however, I know that I must. Rest In Peace." - Juson Williams(juicydancecraves@yahoo.com

"Well Luther, you always had the ability to make me cry...and you did it again, when I heard the news last Saturday. I first heard your voice on the Change tracks "Glow Of Love" and "Searching", and instantly I was hooked. From your debut solo album on Epic, your smooth velvety tones created classic after classic. You were the Soul vocalist the others tried to aspire to. Your influence is still heard today, and will be for a long time to come. God bless you. The angels have one heck of a choir, with you to serenade them. Thank you for the music,and a wonderful legacy, which will live for years and years." - Pete Ogle. UK

"Man..... words cannot discribe the loss the world is feeling in your absence. I grew up listening to your music. I can remember all those wonderful feelings that I felt whenever any of your songs came to play on the radio. My Mother(God Bless her soul) was your biggest fan. She loved everything that you made. Knowing that had she been alive to learn of your passing, she would've been broken-hearted as the music world is now. We love you Luther, and pray that your transition is a peaceful one indeed. The Same would apply to Ronaldo "Obie" Benson of The Four Tops. You were the best." - Reginald Mitchell, Jackadaye@Yahoo.Com

"The loss of Luther is a painful one. He wasn't just a singer and performer, he was THE singer and performer. Listening to Luther was a true gift that warmed your heart and soul. Though my heart aches and my eyes weep at the loss of Luther, I know that the sky has a bright new star that will shine for all time with the power of love. Thank you Luther. For the love, the warmth and for you. Go in peace my friend and sing amongst the angels, where you belong. With much love." - Pamela "Wheezy" Williams, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

"His voice was, and is, the soundtrack to the goodness of life. Never gone, never forgotten..forever and always..Thank You, Luther." - jherring@yogifish.com

“Never Too Much”. It was 1981 and I had just met my “future husband”. I didn’t know that then. “Never Too Much” will always be our first love song. We were unemployed and poor but felt so rich in love. I saved enough to buy my man a Hayman bass guitar so he could play with the song. Luther now joins the many of my most beloved and talented singers/songwriters jammin’ in the big session in the sky. 25 years ago my husband and I could “never too much” and it must be true cuz we’re still together. Thank you Luther. You will forever be with us." - Valerie Barber, Slatington, PA

"You have always been my star Luther! You sang about love and I fell in love! You looked out for the woman, protected amd advised her through your lyrics. "To Bring Your Heart To Mine" on your second last album cautioned me about love and this is advise I would never get from anyone.

You worked with just everyone. Busta Rhymes and that collaboration with Spinderella from Salt'N Pepa was a great one! Your song, "Now That I Have You" will play on my wedding day - this is a promise I have always made to myself. I always played a Luther song on my radio show and it is amazing that you passed on exactly a year since I left radio. As I sat in my room reminiscing on the good times, I got the inspiration to get back to the microphone. I will do it for you Luther.

Thank you for loving us (me). Now that you are with the Father, I know he took you so He too can share your fabulous music and that melodious golden voice. And you will get to "dance with your father again" like you always wished. Your passing on has left a big gap in the music industry but we will leave to hold on to the records you have left behind. Sha la la la la, Luther For ever, For always, For Love, For Luther." - Belinda Namutebi. Kampala Uganda.

"I remember “Never Too Much” was the first record I bought and since then I have been a fan of Luther Vandross’ - what a wonderful voice every song has a meaning and takes you back to different moments in your life. God will take care of Luther he will be singing in heaven a very sad loss but his music lives on in his fans who will never forget him a true living legend. God Bless you and keep you, Luther." - Isabel, London

"David, Your tribute to Luther was beautiful. I learned a lot about the man, as opposed to the entertainment figure, in your piece, and am delighted, even in my own grief at his loss, to know how "normal" Luther was. I had the worst hankering for fried chicken after reading it! Luther sounded like someone who could have been my neighbor, albeit a rather stylish one.

These last two years I've been so frustrated that the family wouldn't ever let us SEE him. I know that it could be Luther didn't want people to see him like he is but remember him as he was, but the romantic in me wanted to believe that if he could only see us, his fans, from a window, and we could wave and shout our encouragement from outside, that it would be a boost to him and help him get better. But that wasn't to be. After Oprah, we never saw him again, and we didn't even get to see him at the wake and the funeral. I guess some of us need closure, need to see that there really was a body in there, that it was Luther, and maybe he was in his Versace pajamas and $300 slippers, and it would look like he was just taking a nap. But, I understand the family wanting to keep him to themselves. I just hope his poor mother and aunt will be alright, after putting all their energy into his care. We know that Luther's alright now...it's the rest of us who must carry on now.

Anyway, I just had to share my enjoyment of your piece with you. For a white guy, your knowledge of soul music and its history is phenomenal. I was glad to see that you had a radio show, that you could share your knowledge with people. (I hope it's iTunes friendly so that I can download the broadcast.) I remember checking out Soul Divas from the library years ago and thinking, this man knows his stuff, and he's respectful, too. Please keep up the good work. Take care." - Iris

"It's been over a week since Luther Vandross' transition and I still have a need to vent. I ADORED him through his music. He never knew me but I felt he sang to soothe me through many ups and downs of my life. True to form, that same weekend I broke up with my boyfriend. Playing ALL my Luther music and listening to MANY of the tributes via radio minimized my little breakup. (Thank You Luther) My favorite song on my favorite album is Too Proud To Beg...Secret Life. The man tells my story. But that was his gift. Good Night Sweet Prince." - A Fan

"Hearing Luther Vandross had passed away was like a slap to the face. I gave it time before I wrote this because, well just because..... I tell friends that don't feel the same way that he bestrode the world of Soul like a Colussus. This is no exageration is it? With a voice from heaven, Luther has been a part of my life since the first time I heard The Glow Of Love. Selfishly thinking that there will be no more Luther albums truly brought a lump to my throat. You know what I tried to do? I tried to make a Best Of CD to play in my car as I drove around! Did you know it's impossible to make a "Best Of Luther" CD on just one CD? Try as I might I couldn't do it! That sums up just how much good and lasting music Luther has given us. Luther, if you can hear me, you are much loved and much missed. Your place in our hearts is secure." - David Jeavons, Southport, UK 12th July 2005

"What a terrible loss! Soul star #1 is no longer with us...and the throne will be vacant for a long time because there's no one (at least in the male field) which, at the same time, has so much talent, such an incredible golden voice, the commercial success and the staying power of Luther Vandross! I first discovered Luther at the time of the release of the album "The Night I Fell In Love", I should be 17 then. I was already a soul music fan but it was the first time I listened to Luther Vandross, and I must say that discovering Luther had a tremendous impact on my life...even today when I listen to that album I still can fell the magic. From that moment on I updated with Luther's previous albums and kept in pair with everything new he released. After Marvin Gaye (and along with Will Downing) Luther is the artist I admire the most, he became a personal hero of mine and thus my friend, that's why I'm feeling so sad about his passing. His music however will live forever and will inspired new talents (like Marvin's music)...I just regret that I never had the chance to see him live. GOD bless you Luther...Much love!" - Joao Dias, Portugal

"Hey David, I just read your beautiful remembrance of Luther on the site. You had me alternately laughing and crying. And, have just been checking over the pics from the funeral on the getty images website. One of the things that is so wonderful about Luther's life is that all the singers he so admired, he was able to reach out and touch with his own voice, and judging by the pics from the service, he ended up meaning as much to them as they did to him. That's really a remarkable feat. Very very sad about this awful loss ... Condolences on the loss of your friend Luther who I guess was a friend to all of us, even those of us he never met. Best." - Al Paige, Sydney, Australia

"It’s kind of hard to put into words what went through my mind and spirit when I first heard, “Never Too Much” in 1981, but metaphorically speaking, I liken it to drinking a tall, cool glass of refreshing water, and having my thirst quenched, not even knowing how parched I really was to begin with! The moment I heard Marcus Miller’s (much love to you, Brother M) now-signature and classic, sliding bass note, followed by the in-your-face intro and then that silky VOICE, my soul opened up and screamed, “WOW!” I knew right then and there, three things: 1: that something incredible was happening with music and its direction, 2: that the VOICE I was hearing was timeless, and 3: that that timeless VOICE would always have a special place in my heart and life. And after 25+ years, those three things remain true.

I never met Luther personally, but he gave so much of himself in song, that I often felt like he and I were close friends. He always seemed to have the right song for whatever situation I was dealing with in life, and I could always relate to everything that he sang about: love, joy, loneliness, and pain. Luther VOICE could make me all of these emotions down in my bone marrow, and my connection to him was so human, and intensely spiritual. I can recall many a night, where it was just me and Luther’s music in a darkened room. his VOICE being the light that would rock-a-bye me through whatever trial, insanity, or heartbreak I was experiencing, or putting into the most perfect of words, the love I was feeling at the time, making me smile; or just moving me to tears with his breathtaking delivery of a lyric. And though I am sad that I never had a chance to tell him personally, what his music meant to me, somehow, I think he now knows.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Luther. You may be gone in the physical, but your musical legacy of love will live on forever, through me and the countless souls who were touched by your VOICE. You were the greatest and there will never be another like you again. Rest in peace.

My sincerest, heartfelt condolences and prayers to Luther’s family and friends. And thank you Miss Mary Ida for sharing your son with us all. God bless you and keep you." - H. E. Fountain

"Luther, I've loved every song you recorded but "Dance With My Father" has moved me the most. To know that you are now dancing with your earthly father, siblings, and Our Heavenly Father makes the loss of your sublime presence more bearable. You have left a legacy with a catalog of music that is unparalleled, to be enjoyed by this generation and future generations to come. Smile down angel for your musical wings are covering all who loved you." - Joyce, Cleveland, Ohio

"My heart is bleeding right now. In this age of non-singers, folks utilizing tracks, etc. LV was the consummate professional. I have witnessed his artistry for ten complete years straight back to back at Madison Square Garden. The same way he sounded on his various albums and CD's is the same way he represented live. No cuts, no shorts. My God am I going to miss that. We have lost the last great composer, arranger, vocal arranger and vocalist of our times. I am beside myself with suffering. Because besides being a genuine, real brother who didn't take no bs from anyone, he kept it real and regular. Luther, I can't wait when I get there too, knowing there will be people like you and we can party till the cows come home! I truly enjoyed each and everytime I got to witness his artistry, he elevated my spirit and expanded my soul. Mrs. Vandross, our love goes out to yo! u, Fonzi, Nat, Lisa, Ava, Paulette, Kevin, I know that words can't express what you're feeling right now and I pray God gives you the strength to carry on. I know I will need his guidance. LV, thank you, for everything. I will always treasure the experience which is VANDROSS. God Speed, brother, God Speed." - Dianne Washington aka Mothership

"Hope of hearing that velvety voice live is gone now. But the memories will remain. How I loved Luther and just knew that he was singing to me. I remember going to a concert once and crying and crying while listening to him sing "Too Far Down". My friend looked over at me and he couldn't believe that I was crying like that. Luther had a way of making you feel like it was your story he was singing about. I remember at the end of his concerts people would leave and he would go back stage and change his clothes come back out and sing a few more songs. I also remember one concert many years ago him bringing out a whole thing of Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets. He was a master entertainer and saying that he will be missed is an understatement." - Elaine Perkins, Brooklyn, NY

"My heart is literally full. I cannot believe Luther is gone. It’s amazing to feel such a tremendous loss for someone I never met but somehow felt I knew. I remember the first time I felt “grown” was when I was able to listen to a Luther Vandross song and feel, understand and relate to every word. Back in the 80’s when I was in college; your “slow jam” cassette (we didn’t have CD’s back then) wasn't complete unless you had at least fiveof Luther’s songs. Listening to Luther's songs got me through a lot of my “firsts” in adult relationships...my first heartbreak to say the least. There has never been one that can compare to Luther and I doubt if there ever will be. You have been and remain as my favorite male vocalist. Luther – You will truly be missed, but never, ever, ever forgotten. You are an unduplicated treasure! My prayers are with your family, loved ones and dearest friends." - Ra'Chel Fowler

"May Luther rest in peace and he will be missed. what an extraordinary icon!" -Jason

"I have from the beginning (when he was with Change) and always will be a fan of Luther's. God blessed his with a voice that cannot ever be replaced. I never missed a concert when he came to Houston. Let me correct that, he did not have concerts he had productions, I would go just to see what he came up with next. My two daughters were raised listening to Luther. My youngest daughter who now sings and performs, always dictate a Luther song to me. I say thank you Mr. Vandross, thank you for all the songs, laughter and love you gave to us. To my brother Luther (we are all brothers and sisters in Gods eyes) I love you. You will be missed. Rest in peace. To Mother Vandross and the family; my prayers are with you guys. Your fan forever." - Peggy Slater, Houston, TX

"I saw Luther 3 times in concert and I went to each alone. The first time I literally sat on the edge of my seat throughout the entire concert because I couldn't believe the voice I was hearing come out of this man. His recordings just don't accurately reflect his voice. I also saw him when he toured with Sinbad and Sounds of Blackness. The last time I saw him was a birthday gift from my daughter. She paid $75 for my ticket...more than I had ever paid to see anyone! But, wow, was it worth it. I had an excellent seat and that show was the best I had ever scene. That's when I learned that the lead of the old 60's song "Love On a Two-Way Street" was one of his background singers as Luther yielded the spotlight long enough for us to hear that young man's beautiful voice. My favorite Luther song is "Because It's Love". I love those lyrics. I only pray that he knew how much he was loved. Even though many R&B fans never shared his passion to excel on the pop charts, (we didn't care about that), he became like a member of our family. I still have a glimmer of hope that perhaps he still has enough unrecorded songs he wrote that we may see one more album from him." - Bev, Kansas City

"Luther had the smoothest voice I've ever heard. I wasn't wild about some of his songs, but when he did record songs that I like, there was no male vocalist I enjoyed more. My favorite is probably Luther's version of "The Impossible Dream". This song is a standard and has been recorded countless times, but in my opinion none of them can touch Luther's version. I also especially loved his version of "Killing Me Softly". I definitely preferred his version of "Evergreen" over Barbra Streisand's version, even though her version is much more well known. He had a wonderful style, wonderful phrasing, and probably the smoothest voice ever. He sang with a lot of emotion and never screamed or over sang. His was definitely one of my favorite voices of all time. I personally liked his album of remakes the best. I only wish he would've recorded more remakes and I would have loved it if he had recorded a gospel album. "Hello" was one of my favorite songs of the 1980s. Luther's version makes you forget Lionel Richie's version ever existed. On his last recording I only like two songs. But I absolutely love those two songs: "Dance With My Father" and "Buy Me A Rose". The world has lost a special, unique, and one of a kind artist. One with the voice of an angel." - Stephanie Gwinn, Mount Hope, WV

"I had the privilege to meet Luther Vandross when he came to Paris for singing at the "Grand Rex": he was magnificent. One of my friends from Brooklyn who was singing in the choir brought me backstage and I appreciated his generosity and his charismatic personality. I will never forget that moment as a Frenchman. No doubt that beyond and above the angels are now swinging hard! Thanx for everything Mr. Vandross, be peaceful G od bless you and you can be sure that your voice will go ahead for generations and generations." - Claude A. Planchon, MD www.vitaloptions.org.fr

"What can I (what can anyone) say about Luther, that would adequately describe his genius and uniqueness as an artist? I first got to know about Luther when he was starting to break out on his own (away from Change and just writing for other artists). This was with the album "Never Too Much". I was immediately blown away by his combination of a rich strong voice and lyrical versatility. Songs like "Super Lady" and his takes on "You Stopped Loving Me" and "A House Is Not A Home", remain as fresh to me as that first time I listened to them while studying for my "A" Levels. Of course, over the next 25 years he never once disappointed me. While it is hard to choose a favourite song (or album) by the great singer, for me "Don't Want To Be A Fool" has to be one among the very many. So Long, Brother! Till we meet, in a better World!" - Raymond Byabazaire, Kampala, Uganda

"I pray Luther's mother and all extended family be comforted at this time... I pray that Luther is having that dance with his father now... What a loss to the music world and the world in general...Awesome talent and awesome stage performer... Luther you will be missed... Rest in peace..." - truebluene@yahoo.com

"I remember: -seeing Luther live in concert in Miami with Sound of Blackness, finally seeing the man live in a great show but partly ruined for me because two women next to me could not stop talking during the show, like they thought they were at home in front of the TV.. -Luther refusing to playback on a very popular Dutch talk show on Saturday afternoon so his performance got cancelled which was discussed at large in the Dutch press. The talks how host had the nerve to say that Luther's conduct was not professional.... -the anticipation every time a new Luther CD came out (what oldie did he transform this time into a beautiful ballad?) and never being disappointed: the only CD I did not like at once was "Dance With My Father" which turned out as good as the other ones...

-seeing the Oprah show on TV in Miami South Beach in May 2003 after a nice day on the beach and feeling happy that Luther was recovering, but still wondering if that golden voice would came back...

-getting very excited about ordering Japanese CD versions of the two Cotillion albums and later finding out they were withdrawn... With Sinatra and Marvin, Luther will always remain one of my favorite singers whose LPs, CDs, videos and DVDs I will play forever. Rest in peace my friend." - Robbert van Deursen

"My own tribute must start with when I first heard him on his Cotillion release as Luther - Don't Wanna Be A Fool, his guest appearance on Change's "Searching" and his Modern Soul classic "Never Too Much", all of which were big records on the Northern/Modern soul scenes in the UK in the early 80's. Dancing to these records at All Night soul dances in the UK were what broadened my mind on soul music, as up to then it had been based on traditional 4/4 Northern Soul. It's a sad day to hear of his passing as he was a huge talent with a voice as good as the great soul artists past and present. Will make sure these three tracks are played on my next show out of respect. If there is a God somewhere out there, stop taking these saviours of soul! At least we have the memories, rest in peace, Luther." - Mark Hanson, d.j., www.bluepower.com

"Luther will be missed greatly. He had a special gift from god and he made the best love songs. I feel a great loss in the community. God bless you, Luther. Your Fan." - Dretsel

"What sad, sad news. Luther was (is) my best male vocalist of all time. I first heard of him, I think, with the track "See Me" on a British radio station (I think it was Radio One - seven singles were released and charted in the UK from the marvelous "Give Me The Reason" album) Since that time, I bought all his CD's, most of his production contributions and most of the tracks on which he sings. "The Night I Fell In Love" is my best album of all time. Every tracks a winner. The ballads are marvelous ("Wait for Love", "My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way))" and the movers irresistible (particularly "It's Over Now"). But my best one on the album is "Other Side of the World" - which is my best track of all times. I hope one day we will see you Luther on the other side of the world. His voice is incredible. There is only one Luther Vandross. As there is only one Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, Sam Dees, Anita Baker, Stevie Wonder. I feel like crying, it's too hard to think is gone now. And I never see him live. The biggest loss of my life. Luther, you will miss me. OK, his recent CDs were not as great as the first ones but except 'current' artists like Frank McComb, Leon Ware; no one could make me feel I'm free, connect me with God as Luther's voice did. I'm speaking a lot of me but I would like to send a message of hope to all his family and friends. We will miss a great man, a gentleman but one day, I know, we will see him again." - Guy from France

"Today is a very dark day - there is an inner void, an emptiness that will never, ever be filled. The spirit of Luther Vandross will forever own a part of our souls, as we fell in love to his music. Soul music is the music of life and Luther made his inextricably intertwined within ours. We shall never forget you and your music will forever, be the wonderful legacy that you have bequeathed to us. Now go and dance with your father again.- Good night, God bless." - Pete and Lorraine Hawley, Stalybridge, Cheshire, England.

"I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Vandross in person, although... whenever I saw him on TV or heard him on radio a great amount of warmth purged through my spirit. My deepest regards to Luther's mom, family and friends... Our world lost another great man two years ago at this time... Mr. Barry White...(on July 4th)." - styleandfitness@rcn.com

"Just a note to relate that in my life Luther, was the best male Singer that I had the pleasure of hearing and seeing, whenever he came to Chicago, to do his numerous concert performances. It makes me sad that there will not be anymore opportunity to see him but I have the memories of a lifetime to be able to say I saw Luther's concert and it was one of the BEST I have been ever seen. Rest in peace, Luther!" - Rudy Jordan

"I have to say that I was really shocked when I heard about Luther's death last week on Jazz FM,...It's very hard for me to talk about it and I still feel very emotional...I started listening to his songs in the eighties...in my teens...when I used to live in Paris...yes, I'm one of his French fans and I will always be one of his fans...My favourite song is 'Never Too Much'...I'd also like to tell his family that I'm really sorry they've lost someone so wonderful and so talented. Sincere condoleances. May Luther rest in peace." - Isabelle Joseph, London

"I sang a Luther-V song when I was sad, and a Luther-V song when I was happy. There was a Luther Vandross song for every soul situation. My friends recall the good "Power of Love " days we enjoyed, always looking forward to the next hit from the big man. We will greatly miss him but needless to say we will always remember him and the way he expressed himself so well in that wonderful voice. God Bless His Soul." - Paul Katumwa

"The first time I heard Luther was at a concert in Birmingham, England. He sang, 'A House Is Not A Home. 'That concert hall held at least 10,000 people but was so silent you could hear a pin drop. How could the world lose such a great musical icon? Luther Vandross - his name speaks for itself - is a man that filled a musical void. A person that inspired me and other great artists through his lyrical mastery and rich vocal ability. This is a man that is truly, 'So Amazing.' A true fan." - Victor Odumenya, London, England

"I had the pleasure of meeting Luther after a performance he did in New York. Luther was very attentive to me and signed all of my albums. He could not believe that I bought them with me. I told him I was in the play “Fame” and would be honored if he would come see it and hear me saang! To my surprise on the last night of the show i got a message that "Luther Vandross is in the house to hear Mon Ray saang and he better!". Wow, needless to say I did and he graced me with the gift of songs by him that later became the album "I Know" for Virgin Records (a very underrated project). Through the years I kept in touch with him after he found out how connected I was - we happened to know the same people/singers. Luther, I truly loved you and your music. Rest on, angel and have that dance with our fathers. Until we meet again, Always." - Mon Ray Francois

"Luther is my favorite singer of all time. I have collected over the years almost every recording he has ever done. I am deeply mourning the loss of the greatest singer/songwriter of our time. I am proud to own all of Luther's earlier recordings most people in mainstream America do not have. I have his 1969 "Listen My Brother" single. This is the group that was on the first episodes of Sesame Street. I have his 1973 duet with Delores Hall "Whose Gonna Make It Easier For Me" which he wrote plus on the album he wrote "In This Lonely Hour" - this song is as sad as Luther gets. His Cotillion albums are among my collection including promo copies plus a 1976 8-track Tape of his "Luther" album. Bionic Boogie, Good Vibrations, Charme, Soiree, New York City Band, Mascara, Michael Zager album, Charlie Calello Orchestra. All these albums are a side of Luther you will find intoxicating. I sent David Lasley as well as Marcus Miller copies of these albums for Luther to have and to hear again. I just received kind words from both great musicians that Luther enjoyed the CD's. I am happy I got to show Luther what a true and dedicated fan I am of his. It will be sad not anticipating any more albums from this great man because it always felt like Christmas when you bought one of his CD's. You knew it was great no matter what was on the CD. Luther you will be missed for generations to come. Your biggest fan." - Leon Petrossian

"I first met Luther after a concert in Buffalo in 1990. We discussed our favorite vocalists -- among them his background singers. He was impressed that I knew so much about him and so many of the vocalists he worked with. After discussing David Lasley, Lisa Fischer, Cindy Mizelle, Paulette McWilliams, et al, he told me that I "got it," and thanked me for taking the time to talk with him. Imagine that?! It was the greatest compliment I ever received, and I'll never forget his kindness toward me that evening. Mrs. Mary Ida Vandross will be in my prayers forever. Her burdens are so heavy and I pray that God gives her the strength to carry them. I'm sad because Luther has left us, yet I'm joyful because his Spirit is now free of his broken earthly body. I want him to know that his stroke woke me up to deal with my own diabetes. Luther, thank you for the music and thank you for your inspiration. Peace." - Linda Di.

"Hello All, as a vocalist I am saddened by the passing of this great writer, performer, brother who was able to convey my musical thoughts perfectly. We will not feel the real impact of our loss until we need someone of Luther's introspect to interpret our most inner thoughts about love. LIke only Luther Vandross could do! Thanks for loving us Luther-We love you!!" - Mark Lewis, Dracut, MA

"The music industry,not r&b or pop, but the music industry as a whole has lost a gifted and prolific singer and songwriter..he will be truly missed. Luther said it best "It's so amazing to be loved"...I and the rest of your fans will always love you." - D. Dunston

"I feel as though I knew Luther Vandross long before he became a known star. My ears had always been tuned to what we refer to as "a singer's singer" and Luther surely was one of them. I used to love to pick out Luther's voice in the anonymous world of jingle singers. His voice would always stand out and make the jingle come alive just like the jingles performed by singers such as Valerie Simpson and Patti Austin. I was so happy when Luther came out from the shadows of being an anonymous singer into the spotlight. I remember fondly a concert tour that he did with Cheryl Lynn and to this day it ranks as one of the very, very best I have experienced among so many that I've attended. I also recall seeing him perform as one of Peabo Bryson's backup singers some years before. I remember seeing Luther backing up Bette Midler on Saturday Night Live in May 1979. Luther looked dapper wearing a best man's wedding tux alongside wonderful singer, Ullanda McCullough, dressed in a bridesmaid gown as they added their sound and dimension to Bette's whimsical song, "Married Man." These gigs in the shadows were many and I knew it was just a matter of time before he would step upfront. The time had come to share Luther's talents with the World.

My most memorable experience of Luther was on a cold, cold January 2000 evening when Valerie Simpson was performing a solo show at the Sugar Bar in NYC, Nick and Val's nightclub/restaurant. It was freezing outside and shortly after midnight, we would have one of those "unforgettable" East Coast winter blizzards. There was no lack of warmth in the room that night as Valerie performed with fire and passion. I could see Nick off to the side, beaming with pride. He certainly had every reason to be proud of his dear Val. Next to our table sat Luther, and some of our other favorite singers and musicians; Fonzie Thornton, Vanesse Thomas, Robin Clark and her husband, Bowie guitarist, Carlos Alomar, Janice Pendarvis and Vivian Cherry. The room was filled with a Who's Who of singers and friends who have known and loved Valerie for many years. Luther was in musical heaven as he followed all the lyrics to the songs that Valerie was performing from her first solo album of some 25+ years ago. Later in the show, Valerie performed, "Ain't Nothing Like the Real" thing as she passed the microphone around to everyone who wanted to sing. I don't think I need to tell all of us, Luther fans and friends, what it was like hearing Luther serenade us with this Ashford and Simpson song. It is an evening that I will never, never forget. I will miss you Luther Vandross and I am sorry that your life had to have a sad chapter just at a time when life was good. I will always, always remember you Luther. Thank you God for giving us this talented man and thank you Luther, for sharing your God given talents with the world. May your soul rest Forever, For Always in Peace. Love." - Joseph Rogers, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"My thoughts & prayers goes out to the Vandross Family. Luther was known for that gifted & talented voice. His songs were truly uplifting. He will be greatly missed." - Michelle L. Brown - Linden, NJ

"Luther is one of my favorite R&B singers with Patti LaBelle, and I was extremely moved knowing that he just passed away. A close friend of my cousin who was singing with him, introduced when he was on tour in Europe and I will never forget that wonderful moment of intense pleasure. We will never forget him and his velvet voice will continue forever to brighten our hearts. So long Mr. Vandross, the time you spent with us was too short!" - Larrio Ekson, www.larrio-ekson.com

"Although I never met him, I feel that I knew him well as his music has been a part of my life for 25 years. I was lucky enough to see him twice in concert and, for that, I am truly grateful. Ever since he first grabbed our attention on "Glow of Love" and "Searching" he remained the best male vocalist of his generation. I know it's been said before but Luther is finally dancing with his father again and has joined that special heavenly choir , along with Marvin, Donny, Sam and many others. It comforts me to know that he will never truly die as he has left us with such a wonderful selection of songs his voice will be heard for many years to come. Rest in Peace." - Raymond Sowerbutts

"Another sad day for soul music fans. Thank you, Luther, for giving us your songs and heart. I am listening to '' Isn't There Someone',' what more can I say. Love and peace." - Nick (Soultrax), UK

"He sang love songs with soul, from his heart, the true meaning of love. He will be greatly missed. Devoted fans." - Mary & Glenn Pedreira

"As a prominent DJ within New Jersey, I will definitely see to it that Luther's voice will be heard loud and clear whenever and wherever I play music." - Dee Jay J.J., East Orange, New Jersey

"I was and to some degree, still in shock about Luther’s passing. What can I say about this beautiful spirit, with the amazing voice? He was my comfort zone, and musical rock. He was there with me through song, during my rite of passage of entering “young woman hood” in the 80’s. My first love, my first heartache, My first date, were all accompanied by Luther’s songs. During my freshman year in college, my show choir sang “Here and Now” as we traveled around Southern Michigan performing at various institutions. Though we didn’t have the flair that Luther possessed, that song became an often requested number, for looking out into the audience, you saw a vast array of emotional reactions from smiles, to tears, to people even singing along with us. Losing you Luther, is equivalent to losing a family member. I love you so, and you will be missed dearly. Mother Vandross, thank you for sharing your son with us all. Forever, For Always, For Love…" - MiMi, Fort Mill, SC

"The Lord has brought Mr. Vandross, the Lord has brought him a mighty long way. I'm so glad to have all his slow jam's and i mean slow jam'. He will always be in our hear's and our prayers are with his mom and the rest of the family. May the grace of God forever be with you and don't forget we are always with you." - Vera McConnell

"I saw Luther three times in Birmingham, England although thirty-three times wouldn't have been enough. He had the voice that would stop you in your tracks, no other person could hit those notes just at the right peak, his songs will be played by me for always. My tears fall as I miss him so much already. God bless Luther and rest in peace - you may dance with your father again now. My love always." - Mandy Paul

"Oh my God what a wonderful Blessing and gift in a voice Oh what a voice. I loved Luther's voice, and for some reason I didn't realize his was the same voice signing in the many commercial jingles that we heard on a daily basis back in the day but, I did know that I loved what I heard. What hurts most is knowing that I'll never see him in concert again and regret that I didn't make his last Pittsburgh appearance. The ticket price was higher than usual for a Luther concert and my funds were lower than usual. I'm also going to miss seeing him on the many awards shows, I made a comment the other night about him not being on the BET awards, if he had been there his would have one of the better performances besides Miss Gladys Knight's and the Terrance Howard/Beyonce episode (the expression on Terrance's face was priceless). Getting back to Luther... I cried my tears and regret never having met the man with the BEAUTIFUL SATIN VOICE. REST PEACEFULLY LUTHER WE LOVE YOU AND YOU WILL TRULY BE MISSED. First Ron (Superfly) O'Neal then Mr. Ossie Davis then My Granddad now our Luther - all men that I loved admired." - Miss Gee

"Luther. Everyone loved Luther. Everyone loved him. That's why July 4 could never be the same this year because our baby fell. That bright star who felt so much love for everyone. I got hit with the blow, Saturday morning July 2 at 6:30am via the Channel 2 news. I called Lonnie in DC because I needed someone to help me brunt the blow. I was definitely knocked down a level. I could not be happy all day. I could not go to bed that night until I played my tribute to Luther. Blasting Luther at 2:30 in the morning in Harlem was exactly what the neighborhood needed. My first selection was my all time favorite: "If this world was mine." 2nd was "If only for one night". 3rd was: "A house is not a home"; 4th "Love won't let me wait" and 5th was "She creeps." I went to see him at Radio City. He was in fantastic voice as always. I have never heard him hoarse or in bad voice. His background diva's had on baby blue ball gowns - and one was even pregnant!. Wow I thought...Wouldn't it be nice to be one of his background singers. Just sit there and harmonize off all these beautiful songs. He even lets you tour when you're 8 months pregnant. I suspect that a LOT of musicians will be out of work now because Luther used large ensembles for his shows and recording sessions: background singers, stringed instruments, pianos you name it. I pray they can find work on this level again. Luther was a total musician. He was classical, romantic, modern, and contemporary all in one. Yes he died too soon. Did he die of loneliness? Maybe.. But he gave us many many lovely songs to listen to and cherish for many years to come. His legacy is a tremendous blessing to all." - Maria Freeman

"Yes, once again God has called another "true man" home. I guess in heaven they needed to turn up the volume in the heavenly choir ,and we all know that God only takes the best!... Luther Vandross was and will always be the best to me , he has picked my spirits up in many of ways and helped me shake off the depressions, and heavy loads that life can truly lay on us. I am going really miss him. I never met him in person but trust me I feel like I've known him all my life. I pray for Luther's family that God touch and heal their hearts for we all know they had a great loss. May God bless you "Mother Luther" for you have given the world someone who can't be duplicated like God gave us all one mother, you gave us only one Luther and thank you!....." - Ms Marie Morgan, Tulare, CA

"Thank you so much for your Luther Tribute site. I am a big Luther fan and I am so sad that he has now passed away. His voice and music meant a lot to me. Although I did not know him personally I've always felt he was MY guidance to God and the spiritual way of life. I'm sure that heaven now is a joyful place to be thanks to the great voice of Luther." - Torben Andersen, Denmark

"As a fan who followed Luther and his career intently since he emerged as a solo artist, it's hard for me to put into words exactly what his music has meant to me. That's why I appreciate what David and the others who knew him have written, sharing stories about him that otherwise would be known only to his friends. Thank you, David, for your words and for this forum.

I imagine I was something like Luther growing up: an awkward teenager who found music as an outlet to explore what I was thinking and feeling but didn't quite understand. Into this realm I found Luther on the radio and from my friends at school. There was something about the precision with which he sang and how he fit his vocals into the song that conveyed not just the meaning of the lyrics and the emotions behind them, but communicated to the listener what Luther felt and the distance that existed between the words and what they literally meant. Luther seemed to exist within this distance; it certainly was where the heart of his music was, and this is what I found most fascinating about his work. It was both personal and transcendent at the same time.

No song epitomized this more than Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me (don't forget that this was a medley) and the many variations he arranged of it in his live performances. I always found it interesting that he almost always sang A House is Not a Home the same way, as if he had perfected it (including his way of introducing the song by walking past the microphone two or three times), but Superstar was always different, as if it were evolving. The song surely expressed Luther's love of music and what it meant to him, and in many ways, I think it expresses my and perhaps our love of his music and what it means to us.

I first attended a Luther concert in Milwaukee in 1985 and had the great opportunity to see him 21 more times over the years, the last time in Washington DC in 2002. And although I'd never met him, there were many things I thought I might say if I would have had the opportunity. Clearly, he desired to be a great artist, and he was, but it seemed like he wanted more to be recognized as a great artist, which he was not, completely, by all segments of society. He seemed to measure greatness in album sales and chart positions, which is truly a tragedy if the lack of these things caused him any consternation, because the marketplace is fickle and I'm not sure he would have enjoyed all that came with enormous success (given how reticent he was about his personal life) if he had in fact gained it. Somewhere, sometime about him I read that there is a difference between what is good and what is popular and he never seemed to truly understand the distinction. Not only did he create great moments and songs, he generated a catalog of great music that will stand long after all of us have joined him. In the end, that is much more meaningful than if Power of Love/Love Power had somehow managed to chart #1 pop for one week. I wish I could have said this in a way that somehow he understood and accepted, for him and for all of us.

Luther often said he "wouldn't wear a blond wig" to cross over, that he wouldn't sell out to become popular, and although I'm sure he never compromised his work standards in his music, clearly he did "sell out" to become a pop star, at least in the intent behind his career choices. Why else "Songs"? And yet, it's clear that this subtle change in intent alienated some of his fans in the 1990s and may have prevented him from making that transcendent album in his 40s that might have brought him the popular and critical acclaim he craved. What I would have told him: on your press tours for new albums, why is it that the first thing you seem to talk about is your desire for a #1 album and your desire to cross over? Can't you see that this is self-defeating? That it sends the wrong message to the fans you are trying to win over? But there, again, was the human side, and his desire to do great work and be recognized for it. He strove to be the best and I respected that tremendously about him, and helped me appreciate his late-career work for what it was, with greatness (I'm Only Human, others) sprinkled in. Yet, in the end, he did get his #1 album. And four Grammys, including Song of the Year, just as he had hoped. Popular acclaim, too. I hope he was able in some way to enjoy these and what they represented. Because he was truly a great, once in a lifetime artist, and his work has and will stand the test of time. In the end, I can only say 'thank you' to him for 24 years (and counting) of great music, which I look forward to enjoying, exploring and sharing with others as long as my ears can hear them." - Michael Bayer, Baltimore, MD

"A Passing Is Over

A Transition Complete

A Gifted Soul Has Found Rest Now

A Loving Talented Spirit Set Free

Lean Fully On The Shoulder That Created The Universe

Embrace The Hand That Calms The Sea

Rest In The Arms That Comforts The World

We Are Not Alone

Although We May Grieve

We Love You Luther." - Elisa Kimble & Family

"Sorry to hear about Luther he will be missed in Birmingham, Alabama." - Johnette Orange

"Hi, I’m deeply sad to have heard that Luther passed away, a great singer has left us all the nice music he had. This is the hard part of live, he will be in my heart forever, all the songs he sang with Change and also his solo career. Great singer and person, I hope you will be in peace forever in God’s Kingdom, Heaven. Luther rest in peace, and to my all time greatest singer Barry White, I miss him." - Ochoa

"Hello, David, I am truly saddened by our loss of a great singer. I own all of his albums, a big admirer of his. It's hard to believe that he's gone. I will send my prayers for him and his family." - Edie (aida d.)

"Simple and sweet: I have always loved him, I always will love him, I will always remember him, I will always listen to his soulful voice.

You know people always talk about how Luther created a baby boom back in the 70’s and 80’s. How bout this. My husband has a very, very talented voice and does a great duplicate of Luther’s songs. I am here to tell you in 2003 I had my first baby off Luther’s songs and I was 42 close to 43. I went to the doctor to donate my tubes for research (smile) and I was told I was pregnant. After all else failed for 5 years……what can I say but thanks Luther, I love you!" - Brenda Walker, Cleveland, Ohio


About the Writer
David Nathan is the founder and CEO of SoulMusic.com and began his writing career in 1965; beginning in 1967, he was a regular contributor to Blues & Soul magazine in London before relocating to the U.S. in 1975 where he served as U.S. editor for the publication for several decades and began being known as 'The British Ambassador Of Soul.' From 1988 to 2004, he wrote prolifically for Billboard, has penned bios, produced and written liner notes for box sets and reissue CDs for over a thousand projects. He returned to London in 2009 where he has helped create SoulMusic.com Records as a leading reissue label.
  

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