Luther Vandross is one of the most talented and respected singers in the history of popular music. He was a master of soul and R&B, known for his smooth tenor voice and his ability to infuse his music with emotion and depth. Despite achieving great success as a solo artist, he began his career as a backup singer, lending his voice to a wide range of music legends.
In this blog post, we will explore the incredible career of Luther Vandross and take a closer look at some of the artists he sang backup for.
The Early Years
Luther Vandross began his career in the 1970s as a backup singer for a variety of artists. He got his start singing in commercials, providing the vocals for jingles for companies like Kentucky Fried Chicken. From there, he began to work as a touring and session musician, lending his voice to some of the biggest names in music.
One of the first artists Luther worked with was David Bowie. He provided backing vocals for Bowie’s hit song “Young Americans” and joined the singer on his subsequent tour. Luther also sang backup for Bette Midler, Carly Simon, and Barbra Streisand during this time.
Working with Donna Summer
One of Luther’s most significant early collaborations came when he began working with disco queen Donna Summer. Luther sang backup on a number of Summer’s biggest hits, including “Love to Love You Baby” and “I Feel Love.”
The two singers had a close working relationship, and Luther even went on tour with Summer as part of her backing band. In the years that followed, the two would continue to work together, and Luther would go on to produce some of Summer’s music.
Collaborating with Bionic Boogie
In the late 1970s, Luther Vandross joined forces with the funk band Bionic Boogie. He provided vocals for the group’s self-titled debut album, which was released in 1978. The album was a commercial success and featured a number of hit songs, including “Risque Rhythm”, which featured Luther’s smooth and soulful voice.
Luther continued to collaborate with the band over the years, and he even wrote and produced a number of songs for them.
Working with Quincy Jones
One of the biggest names Luther Vandross worked with in the 1980s was legendary producer Quincy Jones. Luther sang backup on a number of Jones’ productions, including Michael Jackson’s hit album “Thriller”.
In addition to providing vocals, Luther also wrote songs for Jones, including the hit track “The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)”. The song was the lead single from Jones’ 1989 album “Back on the Block” and featured Luther alongside a who’s who of R&B and jazz talent, including Barry White, El DeBarge, and James Ingram.
Collaborations with Other Artists
Over the course of his career, Luther Vandross collaborated with an incredible range of artists. Some of his most notable collaborations include:
– Diana Ross: Luther sang backup on Ross’ hit song “Endless Love” and even produced a number of her albums.
– Whitney Houston: Luther wrote and produced a number of songs for Houston, including “The Greatest Love of All” and “So Emotional”.
– Aretha Franklin: Luther provided backup vocals on Franklin’s hit album “Jump to It”.
– Janet Jackson: Luther wrote and produced the hit song “The Best Things in Life Are Free” for Jackson.
Luther Vandross was one of the most talented and versatile singers of his generation. He worked with an incredible range of artists over the course of his career, lending his smooth tenor to some of the biggest hits in popular music. From David Bowie to Quincy Jones, and from Donna Summer to Whitney Houston, Luther left an indelible mark on the world of music, and his voice will always be remembered as one of the most iconic in the history of popular culture.
Who were Luther Vandross influences?
Luther Vandross was one of the most talented and successful R&B singers of the ’80s and ’90s. He is known for his powerful vocals, smooth style, and emotional ballads. It is widely acknowledged that Luther Vandross was inspired by several prominent artists of his time, as well as those who came before him.
One of his primary influences was Dionne Warwick, a popular singer in the 1960s known for her soulful style and vocal elegance. From Warwick, Vandross drew vocal grace and charisma. He learned how to emote with his voice and evoke emotion from his listeners. Some of his most memorable ballads display this kind of expertise, such as the hit single “A House is Not a Home.”
Another significant influence was Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, a popular Motown group known for their poetic songwriting and harmonies. Vandross was drawn to their clever phrasing and their ability to convey deep emotions through their music. From this group, Vandross learned how to craft lyrics that were meaningful and relatable without being overly simplistic. In fact, Vandross would later collaborate with Robinson on a number of tracks, which was a testament to the influence he had on Vandross’s career.
Other artists who inspired Luther Vandross’s vocal style include Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke, and Marvin Gaye. They were known for their smooth and soulful vocal delivery, which Vandross also made his own. Vandross was particularly drawn to the romantic ballads of Gaye and Cooke, whose music had a deep impact on his own.
Luther Vandross was influenced by a range of artists from the 1960s and ’70s, including Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye. From these artists, he drew vocal elegance, poetic phrasing, and the ability to convey deep emotions through his music, which made him one of the most successful R&B singers of his generation.
Who was the backing singer for David Bowie?
David Bowie is one of the most renowned and celebrated musicians in history, who has had an indelible influence on popular music and culture. Throughout his career, he worked with many talented musicians and singers who contributed to his sound and helped him achieve his artistic vision. One of Bowie’s backing singers was Linda Lewis, who died on 10 March 2021 at the age of 72.
Lewis was a singer with a five-octave range who provided backing vocals for Bowie on several of his most iconic albums. She first worked with Bowie on his 1971 album ‘Hunky Dory’, where she sang backing vocals on the track “Changes”. She went on to provide backing vocals on several other Bowie albums, including ‘Aladdin Sane’ and ‘Diamond Dogs’.
Linda Lewis was much more than just a backing singer, however. She was a talented singer and songwriter in her own right, with a career spanning more than four decades. In the 1970s, she enjoyed solo success with hits like “Rock-a-Doodle-Doo” and “Sideway Shuffle”, and she also toured with Cat Stevens.
Throughout her career, Lewis worked with many other famous artists, including Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, and Rod Stewart. She was known for her distinctive voice, which had a powerful range and a unique tone that stood out from the crowd.
Linda Lewis was a talented singer and songwriter who contributed to some of David Bowie’s most iconic albums as a backing singer. She had a successful career in her own right and worked with many other famous artists throughout her life. Her unique voice and talent will be missed, but her legacy will live on through the music she helped create.
Who is the gospel singer that sounds like Luther Vandross?
Darwin Todd Hobbs is an American gospel singer who is known for his soulful and powerful voice, which has been compared to that of the late Luther Vandross. Born on November 30, 1968, Hobbs started his music career in the early 1990s as a background singer for various artists. He later embarked on a solo career in gospel music and has since released several albums.
Hobbs’ singing style is heavily influenced by classic soul singers such as Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, and Lou Rawls. He is renowned for his smooth, velvety voice, and a vocal range that spans four octaves. His soulful delivery and passionate performance have earned him a reputation as one of the best gospel singers around.
Hobbs has been active in the gospel music scene since the 1990s and has gained a large following over the years. He has collaborated with several artists in the gospel music industry, including Israel Houghton and Smokie Norful. In addition to his solo work, he has also been featured on several gospel compilation albums.
If you are a fan of Luther Vandross or classic soul music, Darwin Todd Hobbs is a gospel singer that you should definitely check out. With his soulful voice and passion for gospel music, he is sure to amaze and inspire you.
Who did Luther Vandross sing with before he went solo?
Luther Vandross, one of the most successful and influential singers of his time, had a long and illustrious career in the music industry. Before he achieved stardom as a solo artist, Luther Vandross was a background vocalist for several popular acts in the 1970s, including David Bowie, Bette Midler, and Barbra Streisand.
However, it wasn’t until 1980 that Luther finally made his career breakthrough as a singer with the pop-dance act Change, who he sang with prior to going solo. The band was founded in Italy by Jacque Fred Petrus, and Luther was brought in to provide lead vocals for their second album “Miracles”.
Change scored hits with ‘The Glow of Love’, which was co-written by Luther, and ‘Searching’, which featured his distinctive vocals. Both tracks were hugely successful, gaining critical and commercial acclaim in the United States and Europe.
After his stint with Change, Luther decided to pursue a solo career, and released his debut album Never Too Much in 1981, which was met with critical and commercial success. Luther went on to release numerous other successful albums and singles and became one of the most respected and admired musicians of his generation.
Before he went solo, Luther Vandross sang with the famous pop-dance act Change, and contributed his incredible voice to some of their most popular hits. His work with the group set the stage for his solo career, which went on to become incredibly successful and cemented his place in the pantheon of pop music legends.
Who did background vocals on an American dream?
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is an American country rock band that has been active since 1966. One of their popular songs, “An American Dream,” was released in 1979 and features a beautiful backup vocal from renowned American singer, Linda Ronstadt. This version of the song with Ronstadt’s backing vocal has become quite popular and is sometimes included in Ronstadt’s greatest hits collections, such as the 2014 Capitol release, Icon.
It is worth noting that while Ronstadt’s voice may be most recognizable on the track, several other musicians also provided background vocals on “An American Dream.” These additional vocalists include The Dirt Band’s own Jimmie Fadden, Jeff Hanna, and John McEuen. Together, they create a rich, layered harmony that perfectly complements the song’s themes of hope, love, and the American dream.
“An American Dream” is a wonderful example of the collaborative nature of the music industry. The song’s success is due not only to the talents of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band but also to the unique and beautiful contributions of Linda Ronstadt and the other background vocalists who brought the track to life.