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Decoding the Enigma: Did Luther Vandross’s Have a Wife?

Explore the guarded personal life of R&B legend Luther Vandross. Our detailed article addresses queries about Luther Vandross wife, family life, and untimely demise.
by Rob Gillham | Dec 27 2023
luther vandross wife
Credits: BET

Acclaimed for soulful hits like ‘Dance With My Father’ and ‘Never Too Much,’ Luther Vandross’s compelling voice and artistry amassed a colossal global fanbase. But inquiries often arise about Vandross’s birthplace and marital status.

This article discovers some lesser-known aspects of Vandross’s life, focusing on his marital status, family life, and untimely demise.

A Closer Look At Luther Vandross’s Romantic Life 

Luther Vandross was never married and had no children before he died. While Vandross chose not to publicly disclose his sexual orientation during his lifetime, posthumous revelations suggest he was gay. 

Close friend and co-worker Bruce Vilanch mentioned that Vandross had his most enduring relationship with a man, whose identity remains undisclosed, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Further confirming this was his friend Patti LaBelle in December 2017.

Luther Vandross’s Early Life

Luther Vandross, born on April 20, 1951, was raised in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, and christened Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. 

As the second son of an upholsterer-cum-singer, Luther Vandross Sr., and a nurse, Mary Ida Vandross, he was the couple’s fourth child. 

Growing up, Vandross exhibited a natural flair for music at the early age of three. He self-learned the piano by ear on his very own phonograph.

His teenage years were no different – Vandross founded the first Patti LaBelle fan club in high school, electing himself president. Simultaneously, he nurtured his performance skills with a group named Shades of Jade. 

In addition to showcasing his talent on amateur nights, a young Vandross also appeared in several episodes of the debut season of Sesame Street around 1969-1970.

Health Struggles That Led His Death

Vandross endured a lifelong battle with diabetes and hypertension. His health drastically took a downturn on April 16, 2003, when he suffered an acute stroke at his home.

This led him to fall into a coma that lasted close to two months, dramatically impairing his ability to sing and speak and leaving him reliant on a wheelchair. Eventually, Vandross managed to regain his mobility.

Vandross’s final public appearance was on May 6, 2004, on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and, tragically, a year later he succumbed to a heart attack ending his life at the age of 54. 

Vandross was laid to rest at a ceremony held at Riverside Church in New York City. Among those paying their respects were prominent figures such as Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, and Cissy Houston, who delivered heartfelt tributes and musical performances.

His final resting place is the George Washington Memorial Park in Paramus, New Jersey. To dive deeper into compelling narratives from the world of celebrities, we heartily recommend Celebrity Stories on Blinkist.

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