today a true soul sensation, Luther Vandross, passed away. Oddly enough I was listening to Chic's greatest hits this morning especially Everybody Dance and Dance, Dance, Dance on which Luther sang lead. Of course, he's on one of the greatest tracks ever: Le Freak. Heard about his passing on the radio. I always marveled at hearing him sing backgrounds on David Bowie's Young Americans (the video footage of the performance is fun; young Luther among the leisure-suited backup singers). And then there were his own impressive chart singles: Never Too Much, Stop To Love, Here & Now. What an incomparable voice. What a chain of golden hits he leaves us.
[July 3. Just saw a BET special on Luther. He appeared on the very first episode of Sesame Street as a teenager. Go Luther!]
Switching gears, Live 8 kicks off tomorrow. I know I will be tuning in. This is Bob Geldof's unofficial sequel to Live Aid. The series of concerts here and overseas is going to be massive. It's the music community's opening salvo for the G8 summit's participants to recognize the continuing plight of millions of Third World citizens. Live 8's goal is to move the G8 (Bush & Blair are attending) to cancel debts, double aid and create better trade agreements for these countries.
The shows will feature everyone from U2 to Jay-Z from Duran Duran to a reunited Pink Floyd; Mariah, Snoop, Macca, Stevie, REM, Coldplay... So much great music, plus downloads will be available to benefit the cause. It's not so much a fund raiser as Live Aid, but it's certainly worthy of our time, energy & resources. Rather than money, the organizers want to raise awareness and garner support from around the globe. Check out the website to see how you can help! I have signed the Live 8 List and will be adding my name and face to their campaign. I encourage you to do the same.
Let me tell you now, if there is a similar concert next year, I want to be a part of it. This time next year, I expect us to be in a position to contribute to the musical, world community on such a scale. Watch us.
All right everyone, I'll check in later this holiday weekend. Be safe and celebrate our independence well.
Love, Power, Peace