Photo: Unknown - Public Domain

Madonna Removes Luther Vandross From Concert Tribute

During Madonna‘s Celebration tour, the superstar takes a moment our each night to pay tribute to fellow musicians and artists who’ve suffered or died from AIDS. 

During classic 1986 single “Live to Tell,” that addresses perseverance through trying times, a montage of images of Keith Haring, Herb Ritts, and Freddie Mercury, each of whom battled the disease. Also pictured was Luther Vandross, whose estate requested that Madonna remove from the tribute because he “was NEVER diagnosed with AIDS or the HIV Virus.”

Concerning the issue, a representative for Vandross’ estate previously issued a statement saying, “Luther Vandross passed away in 2005 due to complications from a stroke suffered two years earlier. While we appreciate Madonna’s recognition of those lives lost to AIDS, Luther was NEVER diagnosed with AIDS or the HIV Virus. We’re not sure where she or her production team received false medical information claiming otherwise. We’re currently in contact with her management to remove Luther Vandross from the tribute.” 

In a combined statement with his Elton John AIDS Foundation. when Madonna’s tour launched, Elton John took to Instagram in support of the tribute, writing:

“We’re deeply moved by the heartfelt tribute from @madonna during her Celebration Tour performance of ‘Live to Tell’, honoring the 40.4 million people we’ve lost to AIDS.” “Thank you, Madonna, for your advocacy and compassion, and for raising important awareness of the ongoing mission to end AIDS. With 39 million people living with HIV today, 9.4 million of whom are not currently on life-saving treatment, we must keep using our voices and platforms to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live full and healthy lives.”

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: Unknown – Public Domain