Luther Vandross: An Unfortunate Fortunate


Late legendary Soulster Luther Vandross’ prized possessions will be auctioned off this week on the 5h and the 6th. Vandross, who died in 2005 at 54 was a collector of fine items from his tours around the globe. The items for sale were collected from his Beverly Hills, CA, Greenwich and NY homes. His personal assistant of 13 years, Max Szadek states there are 13,000 square feet worth of items on display including Vandross’ mink-lined chair. The collection is valued between $600,000 and $800,000, said John Nye, whose Morris Plains, N.J.-based auction house, Dawson & Nye, is handling the sale.

I met Luther in 2003 when he was here in Atlanta on a promotional tour. This man was so down to earth, he got on a cheap mic in a nightclub and sang A House is Not a Home with the local band just for the fans. We had a chance to talk for a minute and I was telling him how much I hated LA and had to get out of there and he told me “The best way to function in LA is to connect with 5 people and do everything with those people. I lived there for 14 years and I liked it because of that.” Luther was a nice guy and even then he was fighting his food addiction as he was opening containers of catered food bins in the room to see what was in there. Nobody will say this, but I will. Luther felt that he could not be himself and the price was too high to do so. His mainly black audience/fans put a strain on his personal life because of who THEY wanted him to be. We have such a bad habit of doing that, no matter what we do or how we live our lives we are always SO prepared to judge others. While none of us are perfect and we all have our own secrets and shortcomings, you could tell that it was unbearable for Luther, as I’m sure the pressure is also unbearable for Micheal, Lauren Hill, Whitney and many others. The bigger he got the more pressure he felt to be what fans wanted him to be… and on top of that the irony of the consistent rumors that he was dead or had died just a couple of years prior. What a price to pay in the end…