An Evening of Luther Vandross with Ruben Studdard
In the 13 years since he brightened the world of pop music with his American Idol-winning romantic balladry, Ruben Studdard has warmed the hearts of his huge fan base with five albums and touring with the varied likes of Peabo Bryson, Melissa Manchester, CeCe Winans and David Foster. His smooth voice has earned him accolades and the nickname “The Velvet Teddy Bear” (from Gladys Knight, no less). Enjoy this special evening as Ruben sings a selection of Luther Vandross songs including some of the late R & B artist’s greatest hits such as “A House is not a Home,” “Superstar,” and “Here and Now.”
In the world of contemporary music, there are just a handful of superstars whose first name alone brings instant recognition. Check Aretha, Whitney, Mariah, Diana and Dionne. But when it comes to male vocalists, the list is far shorter. One name towers above the rest in any discussion of black male singers whose impact and influence has been unparalleled. Say the name “Luther” and record buyers the world over respond immediately. The fact is, Luther Vandross was, and always will be, the pre-eminent black male vocalist of our time.
In the years since Luther’s passing, one constant has remained to define his life and musical success: the voice. Like any great singer of the past 100 years, Luther Vandross’ voice and distinct singing style led to not only monumental success, but an instant recognition when you hear him singing–through your stereo, car radio, on TV or in a movie. Bing. Frank. Billie. Robeson. Aretha. Diana. Dionne. Whitney. Mariah. Michael. Marvin. Luther. It is rarified company, but indelibly classic and everlasting in the annals of American music and a club in which Luther Vandross’ membership is permanent.