Patti LaBelle recently confirmed years-long rumors that R&B star Luther Vandross was gay, a move many of his fans, including Wendy Williams, believe was out of bounds.
The talk show host believes the soul singer should have remained mum on the subject since the man, who died in 2005, chose not to share that information with the world. She also believes, as his best friend, speaking on the matter was especially inappropriate.
“She should have said, ‘No comment’. If he had asked me something like that, then—it’s OK for me to talk about it. I didn’t know Luther Vandross. He wasn’t my friend. But it’s not OK to talk about it when it’s your best friend. You know? It’s like a violation.”
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ORIGINAL STORY: 12/7/2017
For years, fans of soulful crooner Vandross wondered about his rumored sexuality. Up until his 2005 death, the “Never Too Much” singer neither confirmed nor denied reports that he lived as a gay man.
The choice to keep that area of his life private was a very personal one, as the singer never owed the public an explanation of his own sexuality. Good friend and fellow R&B legend Patti LaBelle, however, has now chosen to address the years-long speculation, saying that yes, he was gay, but chose to keep it under wraps for two main reasons.
According to LaBelle, Vandross was concerned with how his mother would feel if he were open with his sexual orientation, telling Andy Cohen of Watch What Happens Live, “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.”
The velvet-voiced singer was also concerned about losing his largely female fan base.
“He had a lot of lady fans, and he told me he just didn’t want to upset the world,” LaBelle said.
Watch the clip below.
THURSDAY THOUGHTS: #PattiLaBelle spilled #LutherVandross’ posthumous tea during a recent visit to #WWHL. 👀📺💗🍦 ___ Do you think Patti was wrong for disclosing something Luther never felt comfortable addressing himself? ___ IceCreamConvos.com #ThursdayThoughts #IceCreamConvos
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.