Born 20 April 1951 in New York. From an early age the influences from his musical family rubbed off on young Vandross, where his schoolwork took second place to music. His sister Patricia was one of the Crests of '16 Candles' fame. He formed his own group while still at school and later worked with the musical theatre workshop Listen My Brother. In 1972 Vandross was involved in the Broadway show 'The Wiz'. He was invited by a workshop colleague to join David Bowie as back up vocalist for his recording of the album YOUNG AMERICANS. Vandross’ career really took off from this point, opening for Bowie on his American tour and becoming an in demand session singer.
Cotillion sign him in 1976 as part of a specially assembled vocal group, Luther. Albums LUTHER and THIS CLOSE TO YOU, as good as they are failed to impress. The group was short lived, so Vandross drifted back to session work. His performance as guest singer with the studio group Change on the 1980 album GLOW OF LOVE produced two major hits 'Glow Of Love', and the to become soul anthem 'Searchin'.
This was the springboard to launch a solo career. His debuting, classic, number one 'Never Too Much', eased Vandross into the mainstream. He slowly strengthened his popularity with a consistent flow of hit singles and albums on Epic records. Major soul hits followed in 1986 'Stop To Love' and a duet with Gregory Hines in 1987 'There's Nothing Better Than Love'. In 1989 his achieved his first giant cross over smash with 'Here and Now'.
During the nineties he would be a consistent hit maker with the majority of his material becoming major hits, including 'Power Of Love' and 'Don't Want To Be A Fool', as Vandross rose to become one of the finest soul singers of the last two decades, picking up countless awards and Grammys along the way. Crafting a signature sound that was all his, whether his silky smooth tenor impressed on evocative ballads or classy up-tempo material, he was one of the greatest voices ever to sing a song and leaves a hugely musical legacy.
He died July 1st 2005. He had been hospitalised since April 2003 after suffering a stroke.