*The mother of late music icon Luther Vandross spoke out about his health battle and final words to her before he passed away in 2005. 

As reported by ILOSMMary Ida Vandross lost her all four of her children, with Luther being the last one. Her husband, Luther Sr., died when Luther Jr. was 8, and Mary raised their 4 children on her own. 

Sadly, all four of her kids reportedly died from diabetic complications.

In prior interviews with People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, she dished about the stroke that Luther suffered which sparked his 2-year health decline. 

Below are excerpts from those conversations via ILOSM. 

“God had some connections with my son”

Mary Ida Vandross: “I feel sincerely that God had some connections with my son. The winter before he had the stroke, I noticed that he was putting things in order. Too much in order.”

“He Called Me One Day And Said…”

“I was living in Connecticut, in a 10-room house, and he called me one day and said, ‘Momma, I don’t like you being up here by yourself. I want you to think about moving to Philadelphia.’”

“I Just Feel Like He Was Telling Me Something”

MV: “I started laughing, and he had the best laugh, and I said, ‘I like Philadelphia to visit. I don’t know how I’d like to live there.’ But he said, ‘Think about it. You’re here by yourself, and you don’t need to be by yourself.’ I just feel like he was telling me something.”

Mary Ida Vandross

“Mary took her son’s advice and relocated to Philly to be near Luther and family. Shortly afterward, Luther’s housekeeper found him collapsed from a stroke, on his Manhattan condo floor on April 16, 2003. A blood vessel at the base of his brain had burst,” writes ILOSM. 

Mom Blames Luther’s Weight Struggle & Eating Habits

“I knew how hard he was struggling not to gain the weight,” she said. ”And yet he would eat uncontrollably.”

“The Sunday before he passed, I had a premonition that I was losing him. That was the saddest moment of my life. Here I am with one child left out of four, and to see him drifting away.”

In a desperate attempt to encourage Luther to keep fighting, Mary sang him a song she hadn’t sang to him since he was a kid.

“I started singing: ‘You’ll never know just how much I love you / You’ll never know just how much I care …’”

“When I stopped, he said, ‘It was okay.’ I said, ‘Okay?! You know something? I have to duck from record companies trying to get me to sign up.’ And he said, “Well, keep duckin!’ And we laughed. But when I left, and I saw him watch me, I just had a feeling that was the end.”

“That Thursday” Mary told her sister, “I hear death bells. I’m losing my son.” She continued, “And on Friday [July 1, 2005] I just couldn’t stop crying; I cried myself to sleep. And when I woke, my niece Brenda told me, “Ronni [Luther] died about an hour ago.”

“I screamed. I said, ‘Oh, Lord. My last child. Help me to understand.’ God knows how empty my life has been since all of my children are gone. I prayed for understanding. …Nobody on earth knows how I miss my children.”

Luther died in 2005 after six decades in the music business. He released 13 albums during his lifetime, most of which reached platinum status on the Billboard charts. He was also the recipient of five Grammy Awards.


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