In a one hour special, Radio 2's Paul Gambaccini pays tribute to the man who was the leading soul singer of the post disco era, and became one of the most successful singer/songwriters and producers of the '80s and 90s.

Available for listening until Aug. 13, 2005 on the BBC Radio Player.


With the help of some of his closest friends, and artists who've worked with Luther; and were inspired by his emotionally charged tenor voice - this programme celebrates his life and music.

Stories from his closest friends will portray some biographical details of how he got into the music business. His early musical influences and love of all soul divas, and his involvement in running the fan club of Patti Labelle and the Bluebells. His first Group - Listen My Brother rehearsed in the basement at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and he was able to listen backstage to artists like the Shirelles & Dionne Warwick. Luther lost at the Apollo's infamous Amateur Night 4 times, but was not discouraged.

David Bowie gave Luther his first break in the music business when he did background vocals for his Young Americans album - a lucky accident. This led to Luther becoming a much sought after background vocalist - he worked with everyone from Chic & Sister Sledge to Bette Midler, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens and Chaka Khan. His voice was also used on many commercials for products including KFC, Pepsi Cola and ATT Telephone network.

Various artists pay their respect to Luther - with their fondest memory of him and a particular song that touched them and why. These include close friend & musician - Fonzi Thornton, singer & friend - Patti Labelle, singer & friend Freddie Jackson and singer/songwriter - Brenda Russell. Plus UK based singers - Carleen Anderson & Omar.