Grammy-winning singer Luther Vandross is neurologically “minimally
responsive” almost two weeks after suffering a stroke at his
Manhattan home. He hasn’t opened his eyes or spoken since the April
16th stroke, according to his representatives, and it may be “some
time” before he does.
His J Records spokeswoman said his recovery isn’t progressing as
well or as quickly as doctors hoped, and it’s still too early to
tell if Vandross has suffered permanent damage. Numerous infections
have slowed the process — including a bout of pneumonia he
contracted during his hospital stay, forcing doctors to insert a
tube through his throat to assist breathing. The procedure was done
in a way that didn’t damage Vandross’ vocal chords.
For now, Vandross remains in critical but stable condition in
the Intensive Care Unit of Weill-Cornell Medical College in New
York. His representatives say it’s hard to know what the prognosis
is, calling the outlook “day-to-day.”
Vandross is scheduled to release a new album, Dance With My
Father, June 10th on J Records. He made his debut in 1981 with
Never Too Much and went on to become that decade’s biggest
soul star, scoring five million-selling records in a row and
influencing the likes of Mariah Carey, Babyface and Alicia
“I just want him to wake up and smile that smile,” Keys said.
“So many things show us how fragile we are, how delicate life is.
My prayers go out to him and his family.”