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3rd Annual National Women's Lung Health Week Kick Off

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Vocal powerhouse Patti LaBelle recently revealed the root of Luther Vandross’ closeted sexuality.

Gay rumors followed the ‘Never Too Much’ R&B star for most of his career but were never confirmed before his untimely death in 2005.

Now LaBelle is revealing why Luther didn’t come out during his storied career.

“Basically, he did not want his mother to be…although she might have known, but he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world,” LaBelle told Andy Cohen on an episode of Watch What Happens Live.

LaBelle also implied that his devoted female fan base might’ve been thrown off by the announcement.

“He had a lot of lady fans and he told me he just didn’t want to upset the world,” she added.

You can watch the clip below:


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Patti LaBelle Reveals Why Luther Vandross Never Came Out was originally published on

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45 thoughts on “Patti LaBelle Reveals Why Luther Vandross Never Came Out

  1. Wow…how disloyal can a supposed friend be. He’s not here to defend her comments. We all suspected Luther’s sexuality from the jump, but loved his craft of music. I’m disappointed in Patty running her mouth about someone who has passed on. What was the goal of telling Luther’s secret. Does she have a new Holiday dessert coming out or something. #disloyal #thirstyolelady #shutitdown #lostrespect4her

  2. And when this said about Luther he never denied it but he did not answer it either. That told me he was but I still loved him and his music.

    • Janice on said:

      I had a feeling that was his choice but I was always impressed with his musical talent. And I loved his voice. Unfortunately, some parents cannot deal with men and/or women that are in love with the same sex.

  3. this was no secret and I think Luther would have still been loved. Look at Elton John who is loved by both blacks and whites and Ellen is loved even more.

  4. Sean Hobson on said:

    Who didn’t know he was gay. She didnt have to say it. Regardless of what was said she answered tge question that was asked. Freddie Jackson was said to be gay to……thats his boy.

  5. Katherine on said:

    I think she was tricked and cornered into talking about it. She should have diverted but she was caught off guard and is used to answering questions openly during interviews. I agree she messed up but I think some of you are being too hard on her.

  6. on said:

    The question is, “Why you feel you have to address this now?” Saying that you were a friend makes it even sadder. What is your gain? If you can not be positive about the ones that have transitioned over, “Shut you mouth.” He was a very talented person, loved and respected by many. So why would you,
    friend, want to speak such about him now. I have never commented on such articles before, but you made me today!! Now I understand your shaking and faking! Please do not do this on anyone else girl………… Thanks!

  7. Ms. Kim on said:

    On a patti note, tried the pies mines are waaaay better ms patti, and will have to go with the majority that was not a story for you to tell patti patti. lil disappointed with her on that one as well.

  8. Ms. Kim on said:

    We never cared about his sexuality, we loved Lu!!!!! just the way he was NOTHING MATTERED as long as he sang!!!! went to every single Los Angeles show,that he ever had. FOREVER REST IN PEACE 🙂 I LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.! don’t go changing to try to please. you’ve never let us down before.

  9. Laquita on said:

    And this is Patti’s business how? The man hasn’t been dead for 12 years. What difference does it make now? Get a life Patti…

  10. leadjustone on said:

    If Luther felt that he would lose his female fan base by coming out, that is so sad. His sexual orientation was probably the worst kept secret. At least, I always thought he was gay. That took absolutely nothing away from that beautiful, velvety voice he had. What a gift! There will never, ever be another Luther!

  11. This is the FIRST time that I have commented on any article. I use to be a Ms. LaBelle fan because she is very talented. I am very disappointed in her because of her comments concerning my favorite male vocalist of all time. Luther Vandross lived his life privately which gives Ms. LaBelle no right to speak about anything that may or may not be true. Luther and his music is and will always be SO AMAZING!! I LOVE YOU LUTHER😘

  12. I agree with you all. I read Patty’s book a lot of years ago and figured out Luther was gay. It really wasn’t a secret but still not her story to tell. I think most people already knew. Luther, what can I say that has not already been said, he is one of the GREATEST “sangers” the world has ever known. I can play his music all day long and wouldn’t get tired of hearing it. Although, I’ve heard others who “imitate” his sound, and while good, they will never be Luther. I was devastated by the news of his death, all that he gave the world, he still had so much more to give and I believe that. God called him home because that’s where he wanted him. He let us have him just for a season and I’m just so thankful that God allowed me to live to hear his voice. He is greatly missed but never forgotten in many of our hearts.

  13. By all means “loofah” was/is one of the greatest vocalists to sing in a mic. And,I agree with the majority it was not Ms. Labelle’s story to tell. If she doesn’t have anything else better to do she should start making pecan pies since her sweet potato jonts are played out now!

  14. Doing the best I can on said:

    Patti had no right to reveal anything about Luther, especially something he told her in confidence. That secret should have stayed in the grave with Luther. Patti owes any of his living family and friends an apology as well as his fans.

    • J. OGLESBY on said:

      I agree…That was NOT her story to tell, and Agree that she owes his living family an apology. Just because he is no longer with us does not mean that you should break your confidentiality and divulge information that he never wanted told in the first place…Disappointed in Patti myself!

  15. I wish I knew why Ms. Labelle took it upon herself to discuss Luther Vandross’ sexuality. I can only guess that when the spotlight starts to fade, you’ll do things you wouldn’t normally to retain it. Bottom line is she was wrong and its really sad that when he died, he considered her his friend…

  16. Theresa Kirby on said:

    I was listening to the radio and Luther’s song “Don’t Want To Be Fool” came on. I still think that he is one of the greatest vocals that I have heard in my lifetime. I miss his music and continue to listen to every Jingle and Song that he sung. He had a voice that could stir my soul regardless of what his sexuality was. I was one of his devoted fans, one year I went to 5 cities in one year to see him in concert each concert was great and he always gave 100% to his fans. I truly miss seeing him in concert and will continue to be a LUTHER FAN.

  17. All well said about Luther – he is my secret love – sexuality has nothing to do with his talent so in death let’s just leave him be – I don’t care that he is gay – ever think that is maybe why he belted out so many awesome love songs
    Every year every Christmas became my tribute to my mom as she passed on Christmas Day Thank you for a song that will always bring her back to my on Christmas Day
    Love you Luther missing you gone but will never forget you

  18. Sorry Patty but you were wrong for that! That was not your story to tell. He was and Iconic singer and entertainer. This is how I care to remember his legacy! Greatest balladeer EVER! I miss him dearly.

  19. As a musician, I am not concerned about your sexuality. That is your business, I have heaven nor hell to put you in. All that matters to me is that you respect the craft and deliver quality. Luther did that and those golden tones will forever be remembered and missed.

  20. Passing Through!! on said:

    Why do we have this notion that gay people have to “come out of the closet?” Luther lived his life quietly, privately and his sexuality was nobody’s business. Everyone doesn’t want to come out and be put on display & judged by their sex life. He was one of the greatest male r&b crooners who ever lived, hands downs! His Christmas song Every year, Every Christmas is simply beautiful one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. I think most people knew he was probably gay but didn’t care because his music was truly a gift to us all. He never lied to anyone or pretended to be straight, he was never caught in any scandal or drugs he just kept his personal life private. Luther will always be a legend even in death he still rules.

    • PT. I agree that Christmas song is the most beautiful song. I love it. So what if was gay. I don’t think it as anyone else’s business to reveal it.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        I listen to it year round because it’s that good. He sang the hell out of that song!!!

    • I agree. We need get rid of the whole notion of “coming out” and just make it comfortable for people to just be! Be who you are. Be loved. Be accepted. Be respected. Be free.

      • I agree with all of these comments. I was/am a HUGE Luther fan. I have almost all of his music!! It was no surprise that he was gay but it didn’t matter to me. However, in his generation, I can understand how he may have been reluctant to embarrass his mother, although I’m sure she knew her baby. Sadly, many people are afraid to be who they are because of what their parents and family may think. But I have come to realize that you cannot change a person’s essence.

    • P. Jones on said:

      I loved Luther dearly. We all knew this. For me it did not change the fact that he was, hands down, talented and I still love his music till this day. Gone but not forgotten.

      • CJ. I agree with those who truly loved Luther and his wonderful music. If she really wants to do something positive,she needs to at least answer a health complaint that I found in one of her pies. I tried over and over to contact her or a representative to no avail. I almost ate some type of insect that was baked in the pie. I kept pictures of it for proof.

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