Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Vandross will miss Grammy ceremony

The Associated Press

An ailing Luther Vandross will not be able to attend Sunday's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where he's nominated for five awards, including song of the year for "Dance With My Father."

"It would have been a tremendous moment for Luther to attend the Grammy Awards this year," his business manager, Carmen Romano, said in a statement Monday. "But on the advice of his doctors, I regret to say that Luther won't be able to make this trip."

Vandross, 52, suffered a severe stroke last April, and spent several weeks in a hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility in the New York City area. He is still in a wheelchair.

He's nominated for five Grammys for his album Dance With My Father. The album, which was released last summer, became the fast-selling disc of his career and has sold nearly two million copies. The title track is a song he co-wrote with Richard Marx in which he pays tribute to his late father.

This year's nominations mark the first time the R&B crooner has been nominated in one of the major categories.

Although he won't be able to attend, Vandross will still be a major part of the ceremony. Celine Dion and J Records labelmate Alicia Keys will take part in a tribute to the star during the show (8 p.m. Sunday, Channels 12, 7).

Meanwhile, Vandross' mother, Mary, has shot two public service announcements about diabetes, which played a role in Vandross' stroke. Her husband and another son died from the disease, according to a statement from Vandross' publicist.

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