Luther Vandross was taken from us at the all too young an age of 54. He did, however, leave a huge musical legacy that is revered by soul fans worldwide. Always there helping him to craft his special brand of sweet soul was his life-long friend, super session singer - FONZI THORNTON.
Fonzi, of course, didn't just work with Luther. He also worked with people like Diana Ross, Chic, Ray Charles, Mary J Blige, Michael Jackson, Will Downing, R Kelly, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Aretha and many more. It is, however, his work with Vandross that is most fondly remembered and his contribution to the great man's work has been brought into sharp focus with the release of a new Luther 'Greatest Hits' album.... and to make the release that more meaningful, Mr Thornton has been speaking to the media about the music on the memory-jerking 17 tracker. First, however, he told us about his relationship with Luther...
Luther and I grew up as best friends; I met him when I was 13 years old, he was 14. I was in his first vocal group called The Shades of Jade. His sister Anne lived across the street from me in the NYC Projects. A girl I went to church with introduced me to him; I went over to sing with him and got in his group. We did talent shows; we came in second at the Apollo Theatre amateur night and so I knew him from us being teenagers. I sang on all of his albums, we wrote songs together, yeah I knew him his entire life.
And did you work with him on ALL his songs?
Yes absolutely, yes all of his songs. I was involved on some level at least with the singing of all the songs and in the latter years, the last four albums I was involved with writing, co-writing some of the songs on the albums. We knew each very well for a long time.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 20:22