The incredible moment Celine Dion supported Luther Vandross with emotional performance at Grammy Awards

11 August 2021, 12:59

Celine Dion supported Luther Vandross with emotional performance at Grammy Awards
Celine Dion supported Luther Vandross with emotional performance at Grammy Awards. Picture: YouTube
Hannah Lovejoy

By Hannah Lovejoy

Celine Dion performed ‘Dance With My Father’ along with the song’s co-writer Richard Marx when Luther Vandross was too ill to attend the Grammy Awards.

Celine gave an incredibly personal and emotional performance on behalf of Luther at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2003.

Luther was nominated for five awards on the night and was unable to attend due to ongoing health issues.

Read more: Luther Vandross leads the internet with tribute from Google on his 70th birthday

At the start of the song, there was a technical problem with the microphone, but Celine responded to the error quickly and gracefully and gave a beautiful performance.

Performing alongside Celine was Richard Marx, who co-wrote the classic ‘Dance With My Father’ track with Luther. Richard was a close friend of Luther’s and worked with him on many occasions throughout his career. The ‘Dance With My Father’ track held a personal meaning for both Luther and Richard.

Celine Dionne - Dance with my father - Grammys - What it would have sounded like ....

Luther asked Richard to co-write the song because both of their fathers had passed away. Their unfortunate shared experience allowed them to create the Grammy-award winning track.

‘Dance With My Father’ paid tribute to Luther’s late father, Luther Vandross Sr, who died from health complications when Luther was seven-years-old.

Read more: The 10 greatest Luther Vandross songs ever

At the time of writing the track, Luther drew from his personal life experiences. The song highlights one of Luther’s important childhood memories, of his father dancing around the house with his children. Luther based the ‘Dance With My Father’ track off this childhood memory.

When ‘Dance With My Father’ was released, Luther suffered a stroke the same year, and he began to have more health complications and sadly passed away in 2005.

Luther Vandross - Dance With My Father

The music video for ‘Dance With My Father’ is filled with famous faces who celebrate and remember their fathers. This includes Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Babyface, Ashanti, Patti LaBelle, Brandy, Quincy Jones, Wyclef Jean and Shaquille O'Neal.

The track was a personal highlight for Luther in his career and landed at 38 in the US chart and 21 in the UK chart at its peak. Joe McElderry sang the track in 2009 on The X Factor and it re-entered the UK charts.

Luther Vandross posing smiling in Los Angeles, California in 1995
Luther Vandross posing smiling in Los Angeles, California in 1995. Picture: Getty

During the 46th annual Grammy Awards, Luther’s track ‘Dance With My Father’ won two awards. These were for 'Song of the Year' and 'Best Male R&B Vocal Performance'. The song was also nominated for 'Best R&B Song' during the 2003 ceremony.

Read more: Relive Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and Dionne Warwick's spellbinding 1987 performance

Additionally, during the same Grammy Awards, Luther won two more Grammys for 'Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals' and 'Best R&B Album'.

This was a monumental night for Luther and his music, as he won half of his total Grammy Awards. In total, Luther has been nominated for 33 Grammys throughout his career and has won eight of them.