Primary Wave Music continues to acquire some of the greatest music in history, announcing their partnership with the estate of the legendary and award-winning musical powerhouse Luther Vandross. Born in 1951, Luther started his music career when he was just in High School, playing Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem four times. He would start contributing background vocals on several projects in 1973 and a year later wrote the iconic “Everybody Rejoice/Brand New Day” for the Broadway musical The Wiz and would meet David Bowie, two events that would alter Luther’s career. Creating the hook for Bowie’s hit “Young Americans” and co-writing “Fascination” from the same album, Luther would begin touring with Bowie before becoming an in-demand background vocalist for the likes of Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Diana Ross, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Judy Collins and more. In 1981 Luther would release his solo debut the critically acclaimed Never Too Much, propelling him into super-stardom, which included producing music for Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Dionne Warwick, in addition to his own records.
Over the course of his 3+ decade career, Vandross sold over 40 million records worldwide. He released 11 consecutive platinum albums, won 8 Grammy Awards, while being nominated an incredible 33 times. He is the recipient of 2 American Music Awards and 3 NAACP Awards. In 2010, Luther was named one of NPR’s 50 Greatest Voices and in 2014, he was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“We are delighted to join forces with Larry and Primary Wave. The LV Estate’s goal is to see Luther’s legacy continue to flourish and believe the partnership with Primary Wave is a clear step in that direction” said Carmen J. Romano, of FBBM Entertainment Business Management.
“Luther Vandross was a soulful American icon who was the voice of a generation,” says Larry Mestel, CEO & Founder, Primary Wave Music. He goes on, “We look forward to working with Carmen and the estate to help expand Luther’s influence.”
In this partnership with Luther’s estate, Primary Wave Music has acquired a stake in Vandross’s publishing, master recording income stream, and name and likeness rights. The publisher will also continue a long-term partnership with the estate to manage all assets. Songs included in the deal are some of Luther’s biggest hits such as “Never Too Much” the lead single off his album of the same name. Released in 1981, “Never Too Much” soared to the #1 spot on both the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and went Top 5 on the Billboard Dance Club songs chart. The song and album earned Luther his first two Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocal Performance. The partnership also encompasses several other chart toppers from Vandross such as “Here and Now,” his cover of “Endless Love” featuring Mariah Carey, as well as “Dance With My Father” which Vandross considered his career song. Released in 2003, “Dance With My Father” received rave reviews from the press. In their review of the song, All Music claimed, “Luther Vandross pours his heart and soul into Dance With My Father’s title track.” Rolling Stone called the song a “meditative, deeply personal prayer.” The song would go on to be certified GOLD and was nominated for 5 Grammy Awards, winning 4 including “Song of the Year.”
Luther Vandross died at the age of 54 in July of 2005.