Coupled with that voice was Luther’s unique ability to write and sing about love and the shared emotions we all feel in that search for and enjoyment of love. Love of family, friends, that special someone–all were themes Luther explored with his music regularly, reaching many. Through his songs, for the last two generations Luther Vandross became a staple in the most joyous moments of people’s lives.
At the time of Luther’s death in 2005 following complications from a stroke two years earlier, Luther had been in entertainment for 35 years. From his introduction to the world as a singer on the first season of PBS’s Sesame Street in 1969 to winning four Grammy Awards in 2004, Luther was a permanent and dynamic force in popular music. He crossed boundaries, starting with his earliest success as a background vocalist and arranger for David Bowie, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Carly Simon, Judy Collins, J. Geils Band, Ben E. King, Ringo Starr and Chic. He produced records for Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and Whitney Houston.