Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr.
Luther Vandross was born on the Lower East Side of New York on April 20, 1951. His first big break came in 1975, when he performed as a backing singer on David Bowie
's Young Americans album, and received a co-writer credit after his song "Funky Music" was adapted by Bowie to become "Fascination". He was also a backing singer for Bette Midler
, Donna Summer
and Carly Simon
. He was lead singer of the group Change
, which had hits such as "A Lover's Holiday", "Searching" and "The Glow Of Love". In the late 1970s he was part of a singing quintet consisting former Shades of Jade members Anthony Hinton and Diane Sumler, Theresa V. Reed, and Christine Wiltshire, also called Luther
In 1981, Luther released his debut solo album Never Too Much
. Between 1982 and 1985, five albums were released, all selling over a million copies each. Over the years, he was awarded five platinum and one double platinum disc, as well as winning 8 Grammy awards. He died July 1, 2005 at the age of 54, two years after suffering a major stroke.