Luther Vandross (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005) was an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter, and record producer. During his career, Vandross sold over twenty-five million albums and won eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four times. He won four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for the track "Dance with My Father", co-written with Richard Marx.
On July 27, 2004, GRP Records released a smooth jazz various artists tribute album, Forever, For Always, For Luther, with ten popular songs written by Luther. The album featured vocal arrangements by Luther, and was produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. Rideout had co-authored songs and contributed arrangements and played keyboards on Luther's final three albums. The tribute album was mixed by Ray Bardani, who recorded and mixed most of Luther's music over the years. It featured an ensemble of smooth jazz performers, many of whom had previously worked with Luther.
On September 20, 2005, the album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross was released. The album is a collection of some of Luther's songs performed by various artists, including Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Fantasia, Beyoncé Knowles, Donna Summer, Alicia Keys, Elton John, Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, Babyface, Patti LaBelle, John Legend, Angie Stone, Jamie Foxx, Teddy Pendergrass and Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin won a Grammy for her rendition of "A House Is Not a Home", and Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé won a Grammy for their cover of "So Amazing".
The violin duo Nuttin' But Stringz did a remix of the song "Dance with My Father" for their album Struggle from the Subway to the Charts, which was released on October 3, 2006.
On November 21, 2006, saxophonist Dave Koz released a followup to the earlier smooth jazz GRP tribute album, this time on his own Rendezvous Entertainment label, an album called Forever, For Always, For Luther Volume II, also produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. Dave Koz played on all the featured Luther Vandross tracks, which were recorded by various smooth jazz artists.
In 2007, Deniece Williams included "Never Too Much" on her Love, Niecy Style CD. Williams said that she recorded the song to say "I love you" to her old friend.
On April 14, 2008, the release of the music video "Bye Bye" from Mariah Carey sees Luther's picture appear in the closing images. His image was included as a tribute along with various other deceased people with whom Carey had collaborated during her career.
On A Different Me, Keyshia Cole sings the outro to "Luther Vandross" on "Playa Cardz Right", which features rapper Tupac Shakur.
Guitarist Norman Brown did a rendition of "Any Love" on his 1994 album After The Storm.
Saxophonist Boney James covers his rendition on his final track "The Night I Fell In Love" on Backbone in 1994.
Author Craig Seymour wrote a book about Vandross called Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross. The book includes numerous interviews with Vandross.
In 2009, Jadakiss sampled Vandross' "Promise Me" to make his song "The Things I've Been Through" on his album, "The Last Kiss".
In 1998, well-known guitarist Peter White covered the Vandross song "Don't Want to Be a Fool", from the album Perfect Moment.
In November 2006, Korean singer K included a cover of the Vandross song "Every Year, Every Christmas" on his Christmas single, ファースト・クリスマス ("First Christmas"), released in Japan. It was also later added to his tribute album, The Timeless Collection Vol. 1.
Tribute artists include FiL Straughan, a singer based in London and New York, and Harry Cambridge.
In 2010, NPR included Vandross in its 50 Greatest Voices in recorded history, saying Vandross represents "the platinum standard for R&B song stylings." The announcement was made on NPR's All Things Considered on November 29, 2010.
In late 2010, rapper Battman D.E. GannaBanna sampled Vandross' "Make Me A Believer" for his song "Wanna Luv U" on his debut album The World Is A MothaF**kin' Ghetto.
Hip-hop duo Young Gunz "No Better Love" has been sampled featuring Rell on their 2004 Roc-A-Fella Records debut album, Tough Luv.