Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We'll Always Love Luther

Luther Vandross's death reinforced the alarmingly short lifespan of America's black males. 54 is just too young. But, we're blessed to have recordings of his 25 years as a hitmaker. A lifelong dieter, he struggled as hard with his weight as anyone I know. Once, while dining out with Whitney Houston, he pointed to a slim waiter and told Whitney he would like to have a body like that. In an unusually wise moment, Ms. Houston reminded him of his exquisite gifts by saying, "But Luther, he can't sing!" No matter what his size, Luther's voice was always velvety rich and moving.

Thanks, Luther. Not just for the sexiest make-out music since Barry White, but for your unapologetic and multifaceted views of love. And especially for keeping alive songs that deserve to survive: "The Closer I Get to You", "Superstar", and "A House is Not a Home". In the words of Salt 'n' Pepa, "What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man..."

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