When Luther Vandross died in 2005 aged 54, popular music lost one of its great talents, a man who was not only a Grammy-winning performer, but also an arranger and producer who helped shape the sound of black music in the 80s and 90s. More than that, he was someone who had become an icon for black gay men, although – despite the fact it was widely assumed he was homosexual – his sexuality was never made public.
For legions of black gay men, he was singing their song on tracks such as Your Secret Love and My Sensitivity (Gets in the Way). There was undoubtedly great loneliness in his personal life but, to the end, he remained an extremely private man. (Caryl Philips, 2005)