The legacy of Luther Vandross lives on. Season two American Idol winner Ruben Studdard has dedicated an entire album to the R&B legend.
The tribute album, Ruben Sings Luther, is a 10-track collection of Vandross’ signatures hits – selected by Studdard himself – including “Always and Forever,” “A House Is Not a Home” and “Here and Now.”
Studdard tells People Magazine, “I’m just trying my best to get as close as I possibly can without trying to copy him verbatim.”
Ruben Sings Luther comes natural for “the Velvet Teddy Bear” whose voice instantly reminded Idol viewers of Vandross back in 2003. “Since I won American Idol, people have been asking for me to sing Luther songs for a long time,” he says. “I thought, ‘OK. You want to hear it? I might as well do it. I thought it was the perfect time to pay homage to one of the greatest song interpreters of all time.”
Studdard plans to take this tribute album on the road this spring. The 22-city Always and Forever Tour will begin on April 8 in Sacramento, Calif. and will travel across North America until he ends the tour on May 13 in West Palm Beach, FL.
“As for the tour, we are not only recreating some of the production elements, musicians, background singers, wardrobe and lighting that were ever present when Luther took the stage, but my heart and soul will be in every note I sing as I honor one of the greatest vocalists we’ve ever had,” Studdard adds.
Stream Ruben Sings Luther below. Get your tickets for his “Always and Forever Tour” here.