LUTHER VANDROSS, MADONNA, stoke, aids, picture, estate

Luther Vandross Estate Has Madonna Remove His Photo From AIDS Tribute

Luther Vandross' estate convinced Madonna to remove a photo of the late singer she included in her tour's AIDS tribute.

Luther Vandross’ estate has convinced Madonna to remove a photo of the late singer in her tour’s AIDS tribute.

Vandross died July 1, 2005, from a heart attack. But for some reason, Madonna chose to honor Vandross’s legacy during the AIDS tribute portion of her “Celebrations” tour.

The pop star has played a photo montage of friends and famous figures who died from AIDS while singing her 1986 song “Live to Tell.” Singers Freddie Mercury, Sylvester, and painter Keith Haring are among those included. However, when Vandross’s photo was included in the Saturday show in Sacramento, California, his estate was caught off guard.

“Luther Vandross passed away in 2005 due to complications from a stroke suffered two years earlier,” a rep for his estate told Page Six. “While we appreciate Madonna’s recognition of those lives lost to AIDS, Luther was NEVER diagnosed with AIDS or the HIV Virus.”

The estate questioned where Madonna’s team received the inaccurate information and revealed their request to have the photo removed. Matthew Rettenmund, author and editor of Encyclopedia Madonnica, released a statement about the slip-up that resurfaced age-old rumors claiming Vandross lost weight in the 1980s due to AIDS-related symptoms.

“But sharp-eyed observers also noticed Luther Vandross was suddenly added. Though gay (and closeted to the end), and though Vandross was rumored to have lost weight due to AIDS-related illness, his 2005 death has never been attributed to AIDS complications,” he wrote in an Instagram post.

“Not sure why he was added belatedly, but it is an interesting choice.”

Vandross sued a British music magazine in 1985 for publishing a report attributing his 85-pound weight loss to AIDS. When news of Madonna’s AIDS tribute mishap hit social media, she faced criticism and questions from the public.

“Somehow I feel like this racist,” one user wrote.

“He passed from a heart attack right? why would she include him in the first place,” another user asked.

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