Usually, my friends and family politely endure my musings from the musical knowledge tucked away in the deep recesses of my brain. Now, through the magic of the internet, I get to share these gems with you too. These snapshots highlight people and events that shaped not just the industry, but mostly my personal connection to music. I hope they bring a sense of discovery for you, similar to my own journey through my dad’s album collection.

Playful cartoon illustration of Luther Vandross, depicting him from the shoulders up in the style of a classical Grecian bust. He wears a sharp black suit embellished with sparkling details, a nod to his iconic live performances during the 1990s.

Luther Vandross

Born April 20, 1951

It’s hard to believe that Luther Vandross started as a backup singer for legends like Bette Midler and David Bowie. His velvet voice and impeccable style would make him a household name in the 1980’s, eventually earning a total of eight Grammy Awards and other countless accolades throughout his career.
So many of his hits like “Never Too Much,” “Here and Now,” and “So Amazing” stand the test of time, touching hearts across generations.

Discover Luther’s amazing catalog, here’s some of my favorite collections to get you started:

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

The hit song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell released this day in 1967, showcasing the incredible drumming talents of Uriel Jones (1934-2009).

As a legendary Motown session drummer and member of the Funk Brothers, Jones’ signature drumming can be heard on countless hits like “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” by Marvin Gaye, and “For Once in My Life” by Stevie Wonder.

You can hear those beautiful Motown drum fills in the video at left.

This portrait was donated to the #wikiUnseen Project, an initiative aimed at increasing the visual representation of black historical figures and their contributions to our history and culture on Wikipedia

Discover Uriel Jones and the other Funk Brothers:

ARTIST NOTE:

This special portrait series was created to symbolize the nobility and enduring legacy of black cultural icons. If you’re a publisher, editor, art director, etc. who shares my appreciation for these legends, and are seeking illustrations to share their stories, let’s connect and discuss how we can bring their legacies to life!

Head over to my contact form and get in touch today!

 

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