Luther Vandross was born on this day, April 20, 1951. The man with the velvet voice was originally from New York City and fell in love with music when he saw a live performance of Dionne Warwick.
He began singing in groups as a teenager, eventually leading to him becoming a backup singer for artists such as David Bowie, Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, and Chaka Khan.
In 1981, Vandross released the album “Never Too Much,” which became a critical and commercial success, officially launching his solo career. With hits like “Wait For Love,” “Here and Now,” “Power of Love/Love Power” and “Don’t Want to Be a Fool,” he became an eight-time Grammy winner.
Vandross also collaborated with a range of artists, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey, solidifying him as not just a singer but also a producer.
In July 2005, Vandross passed due to complications from a stroke in 2003. He was 54 years old.