Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross

R&B Singer

Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Known for his sweet and soulful vocals, Vandross has sold over 40 million records worldwide. He achieved eleven consecutive Platinum albums and eight Grammy Awards, including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times.

Full Name
Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr.
Apr 20, 1951
Jul 1, 2005
6′ 3″
Net Worth


Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. was born on April 20, 1951, in Manhattan, New York City. He was the fourth of five children born to Mary Ida Vandross and Luther Vandross Sr., a building superintendent. His ethnicity is African-American. He attended Northern High School in Newark, New Jersey and graduated from William Paterson University in East Rutherford, New Jersey. 

Vandross began singing professionally while a teenager and worked as a session singer for several years before releasing his debut album in 1981. His album featured covers of songs by other artists such as Stevie Wonder and Elton John but it was his classic rendition of Dionne Warwick’s “A House is Not a Home” that cemented him as an R&B superstar. He went on to release over 15 albums throughout his career and earned numerous awards including 8 Grammy Awards and 2 American Music Awards. 

Vandross wrote dozens of songs for other artists throughout the course of his career such as Aretha Franklin’s “Here We Go Again” and Whitney Houston’s “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)” amongst many others. After suffering a stroke in 2003, Vandross retired from performing live but continued to write and produce music until he passed away due to complications from diabetes in 2005 at the age of 54.

Life Timeline

<div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1951</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Luther Vandross is Born</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">On April 20, 1951, Luther Vandross was born in New York City.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1969</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Signs Record Deal with Epic Records</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Vandross signs a record deal with Epic Records and releases his debut album.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1977</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Forms Group Change</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Vandross forms the group Change and releases their self-titled debut album.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1982</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Releases Solo Debut Album</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Vandross releases his solo debut album Never Too Much.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1985</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Grammy Award Winner</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Wins the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for his song "Endless Love".</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2003</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Inducted into Apollo Hall of Fame</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Vandross is inducted into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2005</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Vandross receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.</p></div>

Why We Love Them

<div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">A.</span> He Has an Amazing Voice</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Luther Vandross has an amazing voice that is both powerful and gentle. His range, control, and emotion in his music are unparalleled. He has been praised by many as one of the greatest singers of all time.</p></div>

     <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">B.</span> He's a Great Songwriter</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Luther Vandross was also an incredible songwriter, penning some of the most iconic love songs of all time. His lyrics are heartfelt, meaningful, and often timeless. His ability to capture love, heartache, and joy in his songs has resonated with listeners for decades.</p></div>

     <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">C.</span> He Had a Generous Spirit</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Luther Vandross was known for his generous spirit and willingness to help others. He was always willing to lend his talents to benefit charities and those in need. His kindness and generosity will be remembered long after he’s gone.</p></div>

Interesting Facts

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">1.</span> Started as a Background Singer</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Luther Vandross began his career as a background singer for various artists, including David Bowie, Chaka Khan, and Bette Midler.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">2.</span> Played Multiple Instruments</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Luther Vandross was proficient in multiple instruments. He played the piano, organ, drums, guitar, and bass.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">3.</span> Won 8 Grammy Awards</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Luther Vandross won 8 Grammy Awards over the course of his career, including Album of the Year for Dance With My Father in 2004.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">4.</span> Wrote Songs for Other Artists</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Luther Vandross wrote hit songs for other artists including "Never Too Much" for Cheryl Lynn and "Any Love" for Chaka Khan.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">5.</span> Appeared in Movies and TV Shows</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Luther Vandross had small roles in films like The Women of Brewster Place and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He also appeared on Saturday Night Live and The Cosby Show.</p></div>


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