Google video Doodle celebrates the 70th birthday of an American singer, songwriter, and record producer Luther Vandross, who received eight Grammy Awards and the nickname “the velvet voice”, on April 20, 2021.
Who was Luther Vandross?
Born as Luther Ronzoni Vandross Jr. on April 20, 1951, at Bellevue Hospital, in the Kips Bay neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. He was multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Luther Vandross—the “Velvet Voice” whose silky-smooth tenor ballads romanced generations with incomparable style and elegance.
Luther Vandross grew up inspired by soul music giants like Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick. Vandross was raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the NYCHA Alfred E. Smith Houses public housing development. At three years old, having his own phonograph, Vandross instructed himself to play the piano by ear.
While Luther Vandross was five, he showed an interest in singing, often using the coin-operated recording booths found in stores sprinkled all through New York City at that point.
At the point when Vandross was eight years of age, his dad died. In 2003, Vandross composed the song “Dance with My Father” and dedicated it to him; the title depended on his childhood memories and his mom’s memories of the family singing and dancing in the house. His family moved to the Bronx when he was nine.
Luther Vandross really realized music was his fate after a Warwick performance blew him away at 13—so begins writing songs. Vandross graduated from William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx in 1969 and went to Western Michigan University for a year before exiting to keep seeking a career in music.
While in secondary school, Luther Vandross established the first Patti LaBelle fan club, of which he was president. He likewise acted in a group, Shades of Jade, that once played at the Apollo Theater. During his early years in show business, he seemed a few times at Apollo’s renowned amateur night.
While he was a member of a theater workshop, Listen My Brother, he was associated with the singles “Only Love Can Make a Better World” and “Listen My Brother”.
In the wake of finishing his secondary school, Luther Vandross exhibited his tunes at Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater and joined a theater workshop, Listen My Brother, which showed up in a few episodes of Sesame Street’s first season during 1969–1970.
Even though he never won first place, he joined the theater’s performing arts group “Listen My Brother Revue,” who sang on the 1969 pilot episode of the children’s show “Sesame Street” and gave Luther Vandross his first taste of widespread exposure.
The first enormous break for Luther Vandross was with a theater group, Listen My Brother. All through the 1970s, Vandross added to various songs for greats like Ben E. Ruler, David Bowie, and Ringo Starr, while likewise accomplishing praise for composing the song “Everybody Rejoice,” part of the Broadway musical The Wiz.
Luther Vandross got the next chance when his original composition “Everybody Rejoice” was highlighted in “The Wiz,” a 1974 Broadway musical later adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. His career picked up in 1975 when he co-composed David Bowie’s Fascination and Everybody Rejoice for the 1975 Broadway musical The Wiz.
From there, Luther Vandross launched himself into many collaborative projects with artists like David Bowie, Ringo Starr, Whitney Houston, and Ben E. King. His talent for infectious hooks likewise landed him gigs singing commercial jingles for Juicy Fruit and a few other significant brands.
In 1981, Luther Vandross started a successful solo career, and took full creative control to compose, write, and produce his debut studio album “Never Too Much”— the soundtrack of the present Google Doodle and the first of 14 studio albums that went either platinum or multi-platinum!
Somewhere in the range of 1981 and 2004, Luther Vandross released a total of 13 studio albums, won 8 Grammy awards, and procured the nickname the “Velvet Voice” for the wealth of his tenor vocals.
One of Luther Vandross’s most notable songs is “Dance with My Father,” dedicated to Luther Vandross, Sr., who passed on from diabetes complications when youthful Luther was only eight years of age. The song was the lead track on an album of a similar name, released in 2003, only weeks after Vandross suffered a stroke that left him comatose for two months.
A fine-tuned maestro of performance, Luther Vandross took his energetic tunes on worldwide tours, where he emptied his style into all aspects of live production, from the design of background singers shining gowns to the mood-setting stage lights. In 1989, Vandross’s dedication to the live experience set an international achievement when he became the first male artist to sell out 10 continuous shows at London’s Wembley Arena.
During his career, Luther Vandross sold more than 35 million records worldwide and got eight Grammy Awards including Best Male R&B Vocal Performance four different times. He won four Grammy Awards in 2004 including the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for a song recorded not sometime before his death, “Dance with My Father.”
Luther’s health momentarily recuperated, in time for him to be perceived at the 2004 Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, however it was his mom, Mary Vandross, who accepted the award on his behalf.
Vandross quit unveiling public appearances in the wake of suffering a stroke in 2003 however made a dramatic return to the charts that year with the album Dance with My Father. The album won four Grammys, including the best song for the bittersweet title track that reviews childhood memories of his dad.
Luther Vandross experienced diabetes and hypertension. Vandross died on July 1, 2005, at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, at 54 years old of a heart attack.
Luther Vandross’s legacy lives on, with his music much of the time being sampled, covered, or remixed right up ’til today.
Google video Doodle on Luther Vandross’s 70th Birthday
On April 20, 2021, Google honored Luther Vandross’s 70th Birthday with video Doodle.
To honor the gifted R&B singer, Google devoted an animated musical doodle on Tuesday to Luther Vandross on what might have been his 70th birthday celebration.
The video Google Doodle celebrating the life and legacy of Luther Vandross was made by Atlanta-based guest artist Sam Bass and highlights large numbers of the features of Vandross’s career, such as performing at the Apollo Theater, showing up on Sesame Street, and composing jingles for various commercials. With these, you’ll likewise see representations of the wide range of sorts of love that Vandross sang about.
Over on the Doodle blog, Google has shared early drafts of the animation, as well as an interview with the Doodle artist who shared the delight that he found in Luther Vandross’s music and life.