By Adam Bookbinder

It’s a voice that was taken from us way too soon.  Born in New York City on April 20, 1951, Vandross was the youngest of four children.  He was raised by his mother and while in high school peaked an interest in R&B music.  During his early career after having his song “Everybody Rejoice” picked up for the Broadway musical The Wiz, he not only worked on commercial jingles, he also worked as a backup singer and arranger for artists Better Midler, David Bowie and Barbara Streisand.

The multi-GRAMMY Award winner was, and still is even after his death in 2005, a major influence in R&B music.

We take a look at our top 5 Luther Vandross Smooth R&B Songs:

“Here and Now” – Released in 1989, “Here and Now” was Vandross’ fifth song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart and reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100.  The song, which is from the album The Best of Luther Vandross…The Best of Love, earned the singer his first GRAMMY award in 1991 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

“If Only For One Night” – Originally written and recorded by Brenda Russell, Vandross covered this song for his 1985 album The Night I Fell In Love.  The album itself hit number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

“There’s Nothing Better Than Love” – Released in 1987 as part of Vandross’ album Give Me The Reason, this love song hit number one on Billboard‘s Hot Black Singles chart and number four on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.

“Don’t Want To Be A Fool” – This song was the second single released from the 1991 album Power of Love.  It hit number four and nine on Billboard‘s Hot R&B Singles and Hot 100 charts respectively.

“If This World Were Mine” – Originally released in 1967 by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrrell from their album United, Vandross and Cheryl Lynn recorded a cover of the song for Lynn’s Instant Love Album and was released in 1982.  The cover was a huge success reaching number four on Billboard‘s Hot R&B singles chart.

Click here for other Smooth R&B top song lists.


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