R&B crooner Luther
Vandross passed away today (July 1), due to complications brought on by a stroke the singer
suffered in 2003.
The singer suffered a serious stroke in April of 2003, shortly
before his fifteenth album, Dance With My Father hit stores.
Vandross, born April 20, 1951, sold over 25 million records
and influenced a whole generation of singers.
During the period following his stroke, Vandross, 54, lapsed
into a coma for roughly six weeks. He started to show signs of recovery, with
his condition improving slightly.
Vandross was checked out of New York’s Weill Cornell Medical
Center and moved into a private facility in New Jersey.
His final studio album, Dance With My Father, hit stores
in June of 2003 while Vandross was hospitalized.
Dance With My Father expanded beyond Vandross’
traditional R&B fare, featuring performances with such rappers a Queen Latifah,
Busta Rhymes and Foxy Brown.
Perhaps his best known collaboration with hip-hop artists came
unwittingly, when Kanye West sample Vandross’ song "A House Is Not a Home"
for Twista’s massive hit, "Slow Jamz," which also name checks Vandross.
A tribute album for Vandross had already been in the works as
well. The album is being coordinated by Clive Davis, former head of Arista and
current head of J Records.
The new album is
being produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and features new interpretations
of Vandross’ classics by Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, Wyclef Jean