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GRP to Release Vandross Tribute

GRP Records will release Forever, For Always, For Luther, a tribute to R&B legend Luther Vandross, on July 27. The tribute features an all-star cast of smooth jazz musicians like guitarist George Benson, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., saxophonist Boney James and trumpeter Rick Braun performing 10 of Vandross’ most loved songs. (A full track and personnel list follows.)

The title of the album is taken from Vandross’ 1982 best-selling release Forever, For Always, For Love. Vocalist Lalah Hathaway-daughter of R&B crooner Donny Hathaway-performs the title track on Forever, For Always, For Luther.

The album also includes Whalum’s rendition of “Any Love,” Jackson, Jr. performing “Never Too Much,” James’ reinvention of “Stop to Love” and Braun’s version of the Grammy-winning “Dance With My Father.” R&B singer Ledisi performs the second vocal track, “My Sensitivity.”

The tribute album, which may seem slightly premature as Vandross is still alive, despite his diabetes-related health problems, is meant to honor Vandross’ life and music. Rex Rideout, who produced the album along with Bud Harner, wanted to make the CD while Vandross was living.

“I didn’t want it to be a tribute to someone who’s not here,” Rideout said. “This album is a celebration of Luther because he’s here and he’s in the present and he’s getting better.”

Vandross’ mother, Mary Ida Vandross, is touched by the gesture.

“I really enjoy and appreciate this wonderful jazz tribute to my son and his musical legacy,” she said. “I’m hoping that this album will touch you as it has me, and will help keep Luther in the hearts and minds of his fans around the world. Many thanks to Rex and company.”

Vandross, who has released numerous albums under his own name, and has worked with singers like Aretha Franklin and David Bowie, suffered a diabetes-induced stroke last year that put him in a coma for several weeks.

In support of Vandross and his family, the Verve Music Group-which controls GRP Records-now supports the American Diabetes Association. Fans who would like to contribute to the association can mail a donation to:

The American Diabetes Association

Forever, For Always, For Luther Fund

1701 North Beauregard

Alexandria, VA 22311

For more information the American Diabetes Association, visit or call 1-800-DIABETES. For more information on upcoming Vandross tribute album, visit

Track list:

1. Any Love

2. Never Too Much

3. Wait For Love

4. Forever, For Always, For Love

5. Stop To Love

6. If Only For One Night

7. My Sensitivity (Gets In The Way)

8. Your Secret Love

9. Take You Out

10. Dance With My Father


Luther Vandross (8) Vocal Arrangement

Mindi Abair (5) Alto Saxophone

Richard Elliot (8) Tenor Saxophone

Brandon Fields (4, 5) Saxophone

Boney James (3, 7) Tenor Saxophone

David Koz (6) Alto Saxophone

Kirk Whalum (1) Tenor Saxophone

Rick Braun (10) Flugelhorn

Nick Lane (4-5, 9) Trombone

Lee Thornburg (4-5, 9) Trumpet

Rex Rideout (1-5, 7-10) Keyboards, Programming

Brian Culbertson (6) Keyboards, Programming

Sundra Manning (2, 4) Hammond

George Benson (9) Guitar

Ray Fuller (4) Guitar

Paul Jackson, Jr. (1-3, 6, 7) Guitar

John Pondel (9) Guitar

Dwight Sills (8, 10) Guitar

Ty Stevens (5) Guitar

Alex Al (3, 7, 8) Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass

Sekou Bunch (1-2, 4) Acoustic Bass

Steve Ferrone (5, 10) Drums

Michael White (1-2, 4) Drums

Lenny Castro (1-2, 4, 6, 10) Percussion

Lalah Hathaway (4) Vocal

Lisa Fischer (8) Vocal

Brenda White (8) Vocal

Cindy Mizelle (8) Vocal

Fonzi Thornton (8) Vocal

Originally Published