Rain Doesn't Dampen Luther's Big Tribute

LATEST: STEVIE WONDER, ARETHA FRANKLIN and CISSY HOUSTON hit the high notes yesterday (08JUL05) as friends and fans of LUTHER VANDROSS braved the rain in New York to say farewell to the soul great.

USHER, ALICIA KEYS, DIONNE WARWICK and writer MAYA ANGELOU joined thousands who filled out Riverside Church for a celebration of Vandross' life.

While many mourned the sad loss, Vandross' pal PATTI LaBELLE made sure it wasn't all doom and gloom.

Wearing a bright yellow dress and a diamond necklace, she said, "There are no sad faces here today. It's not a mournful service. I'm celebrating because Luther would want us to."

She then joked, "So many people have babies because of Luther Vandross," before reciting a poem written by the dead star's mother MARY IDA.

On a touching note, LaBelle ended her speech by recalling Vandross' final album DANCE WITH MY FATHER. She said, "Now I know you're dancing with your father."

Warwick read Vandross' obituary and a touching letter from GLADYS KNIGHT, who was unable to attend the service.

Before the memorial service, Vandross' casket was carried from a Manhattan funeral parlour, where it was on display earlier this week (beg04JUL05), through Harlem. There it stopped briefly outside the famed Apollo Theater - where Vandross made his debut as a teenager.

Vandross, 54, died last Friday (01JUL05) at a New Jersey hospital, two years after he suffered a debilitating stroke. He'll be buried in a golden casket at George Washington Memorial Park in New Jersey this weekend.

09/07/2005 01:39

Contactmusic

Tags: Stevie Wonder - Aretha Franklin - Luther Vandross - Usher - Alicia Keys - Dionne Warwick - Maya Angelou - Patti Labelle - Gladys Knight


Editors Recommendations

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

It looks like AC/DC fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because rumors of the band’s...

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

Miley Cyrus has had it rough this week, as the star has been hospitalized for a severe allergic...

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

‘Transcendence’ is a stern Springtime test for Johnny Depp; the 50-year-old actor mooted...

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's "Fast & Furious 7" Scenes

The team behind Fast & Furious 7 has come up with a untraditional solution to finish...

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Let’s get the spoiler alert out of the way first: if you haven’t seen Season 4 Episode 2...

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

We're not sure what everyone was watching on Sunday night, but the season seven premiere...

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences...

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

A member of the Lohan family has ran into trouble with the law, yet again...

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers

“I did not kill my wife!” exclaims Ben Affleck in the first official trailer for David Fincher’s...

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers


More recommendations

Comments

Stevie Wonder Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Stevie Wonder

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All