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Dion, Blige to sing on Vandross tribute album

‘Idol’ winners will also contribute; recording due out on Sept. 20
/ Source: Billboard

Celine Dion, Mary J. Blige, Fantasia, Ruben Studdard, Monica and Angie Stone are among the artists contributing songs to the album “To Luther, With Love ... A Tribute to Luther Vandross.”

The collection, which was in the works long before Luther Vandross’ July 1 passing, will come out Sept. 20 on J Records.

Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are helming many of the tracks. Jam stresses that the producing duo spent much time pairing artists with songs.

“It’s important to give each artist their own palette,” Jam says. “Like when Mary J. Blige does ’Never Too Much,’ it’s how it would have sounded on her ’What’s the 411?’ album. That’s the sort of approach that we took with it, so that it becomes her song. Celine Dion just stuns you with how beautiful she sings ’Dance With My Father,’ and really, all the artists are like that.”

Jam says working on the album renewed his appreciation for how much Vandross brought to his material. “A lot of times we’ve taken a song and it was a great song when Luther sang it, and when Luther doesn’t sing it, it somehow loses something.”

A portion of the album’s proceeds will go to a charity that is yet to be determined.