Any speculation that lingered around Luther Vandross’ sexuality was put to rest by Patti LaBelle who confirmed the deceased singer was in fact gay during an appearing on Watch What Happens Live (WWHL).
Patti appeared on the show alongside Sam Smith whose voice the 73-year-old singer likened to Luther in the way that it moves people. “There are voices in this world and once they sing it’s a stamp on everybody,” she said. “Luther did that and he’s done it.”
Host Andy Cohen used that mention of Luther to then casually ask Patty whether the singer, who died from complications from a stroke in 2005 at age 54, struggled to come out with his sexuality. Without hesitation, Patti nodded her head in confirmation before saying:
“We talked about it. Basically, he did not want his mother to be – although she might have known, he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world. And he had a lot of lady fans and he told me the he just didn’t want to upset the world.”
Three years after his passing, Luther’s mother, Mary Ida Vandross, died in 2008. Check out the WWHL segment below.