Some of the biggest figures from R&B and pop have collaborated on a Luther Vandross tribute album.
Representing the mainstay of current R&B are Alicia Keys, Usher, Aretha Franklin, Jamie Foxx and Mary J. Blige, while Celine Dion and Elton John represent the big-name pop artists. Set for release on September 20, the record has been spearheaded by the R&B legend’s most recent record label, J Records.
Speaking on her recording of Vandross’ most recent single, the Billboard chart-topper “Dance With My Father”, Dion says her performance was at first difficult as she recounted her own fathers death recently. “But I feel much stronger now to sing it. I’m very thankful I’m getting the chance to do it. It’s a very pretty song and I loved Luther very much,” she adds.
Mary J. Blige, who re-recorded on of Vandross’ biggest hits, “Never Too Much,” recounts her experience of the R&B great, saying “No one had ever heard of anyone that sounded like Luther. No one heard anyone that brought that much soul.”
The full list of artists and songs featured on the album thus far recorded include Mary J. Blige (”Never Too Much”), Aretha Franklin (”A House Is Not A Home”), Usher (”Superstar”), Beyonce (”So Amazing”), Alicia Keys (”If This World Was Mine” - duet with Jermaine Paul), Donna Summer (”Power of Love”), Celine Dion (”Dance With My Father”), Patti LaBelle (”Here and Now”), Jamie Foxx (”Creepin”), Elton John (”Anyone Who Had A Heart” - duet with Luther’s original vocals), Fantasia (”Till My Baby Comes Home”), John Legend (”Love Won’t Let Me Wait”), Babyface (”If Only For One Night”) and Wyclef Jean (”Always and Forever”).
“It seemed like an impossible task to do full justice to all Luther classics,” concludes J Records’ Clive Davis. “And yet these landmark artists have done just that. Memorable performances of wonderful songs that ensure Luther’s legacy will live on forever.”
Luther Vandross died Friday, July 1 2005.