Singer Luther Vandross Suffers Stroke
Thu April 17, 2003 07:24 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – R&B singer/songwriter Luther Vandross, known as “The Love Doctor” for sultry, romantic hits like “Here and Now,” has suffered a stroke, his record label said on Thursday.
J Records, a unit of Bertelsmann AG, issued a statement saying the New York-born Vandross was undergoing medical treatment after suffering a stroke on Wednesday.
“Vandross is under medical care and his family and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery,” Carmen Romano, Luther Vandross’ business manager, said in the statement.
Vandross, a five-time Grammy winner who turns 52 on Sunday, is considered by music critics to be one of the most successful singer/songwriters and producers of R&B music of the 1980s.
His first break in show business was in 1972 when his composition “Everybody Rejoice (A Brand New Day)” was included in the hit Broadway musical “The Wiz.”
Two years later, David Bowie asked Vandross to arrange and sing backgrounds on his “Young Americans” album, which also included the Vandross song “Fascination.”
Vandross also toured with Bette Midler as a back-up vocalist. In 1981, he signed with Sony Corp’s Epic label and released his debut album, “Never Too Much,” which topped the R&B charts and sold two million copies.
Vandross produced several million-unit selling albums throughout the 1980s, including “Busy Body” in 1983 and “The Night I Fell in Love” in 1985.
The gifted tenor finally crossed over into pop success in 1989, when Epic released “The Best of Luther Vandross…The Best of Love,” a greatest-hits album containing the new track “Here and Now.”
That song became Vandross’ first Top Ten pop hit and something of a classic wedding ballad.
During an interview with Reuters in 1996, Vandross said he got mad when people referred to him as the “Love Doctor.”
“I’ve never once sung about making love. I don’t do it. I sing about being in love,” he told Reuters.
“I want to be remembered as one of the premier singers of our time, not as the ‘Love Doctor’ or the ‘Master of Bedroom Music,”‘ he said during the interview.