Google is ‘Having a Party’ in Honor of Luther Vandross' 70th Birthday and We’re Here for It

Google Doodles celebrates Luther Vandross’ 70th Birthday with Artwork by Sam Bass.
Google Doodles celebrates Luther Vandross’ 70th Birthday with Artwork by Sam Bass.
Screenshot: YouTube/Google Doodles

OK. So maybe Google isn’t having an actual party, but the headline is correct in its initial sentiment.


Today the world is in fact honoring the man who took over the airways in the ‘80s with his velvety-smooth vocals: Luther Vandross. (Also known as Bad Boy, Luther Thee Vandross and Luther BEEN Vandross.)

This tender-lovin’ Taurus (Editor’s note: ARIES) would’ve celebrated his 70th birthday today and to commemorate the momentous occasion, Google tapped Atlanta-based designer, illustrator and animator Sam Bass to create a lowkey tear-inducing video that’s oh, so amazing, amazing. (You see what I did there?)

“While working on this project I had a lot of feelings, but the main one was joy,” Bass explained. “It was so much fun getting to figure out ways to make each moment in the video feel intimate and a part of the overall story. I was creating small vignettes about togetherness, all types of love, nostalgia, and happiness—all while listening to an iconic song on repeat!”

He added, “Luther Vandross brought happiness and joy into so many people’s lives through his music. His songs are iconic and internationally known. During a time with so many horrible things in the news, it’s great to get to do something like this.”

I know that’s right Sam—and we love to see it! Since our love for Luther will last always and forever, I asked a few staff members of The Root for their input on their favorite Vandross songs.

The Glow Up’s Managing Editor Maiysha Kai brought in the bangers off rip, citing “So Amazing,” “There’s Nothing Better Than Love,” and my personal fave, “Bad Boy/Having a Party.”

Staff Entertainment Writer Tonja Renée Stidhum added, “‘Never Too Much’ is my all time fave because it has so many memories of me as a child being SO enthused about singing all those ‘never too much-es’’s.” Same sis, same. Though I still get out of breath trying to keep up nowadays, so not much has changed.

“‘Never Too Much’ and ‘The Glow of Love’ are instant moods,” Staff Sports Writer Jay Connor explained. “But ‘A Kiss for Christmas’ is probably my favorite because of all the Christmas memories I have attached to it.” Listen—I’m glad we’re touching on this because Luther’s holiday hits always seem to get me in my feels within the first three seconds. Plus, it’s not Christmas for me until I hear ‘Every Year, Every Christmas’ and ‘This is Christmas,’ okay? (Editor’s note: Same) The season is postponed until I press “play.” Them’s the rules.


Senior Editor and Very Smart Brotha Panama gave props to “Glow of Love,” “So Amazing” and the vocally exquisite Vandross duet with “Got to Be Real”’s Cheryl Lynn, “If This World Were Mine.”

For Editorial Assistant Bella Morais, “A House Is Not a Home” held endearing familial memories.


As for our newly-appointed Editor-In-Chief Vanessa De Luca, “So Amazing,” “There’s Nothing Better Than Love,” and “Promise Me” took the top spots. (Editor’s Note: Because obvi)

Wow, what taste we have. So amazing. But don’t let our love of Luther make you wait! Feel free to use our suggestions on your own playlist today (if they weren’t already on there, of course.) After all, there’s never too much Luther.


Happy Birthday, Mr. Vandross!



I think I love Luther’s entire catalog, velvet voice is right. I say a voice like the finest cashmere. Tremedously talented vocalist and songwriter.

This morning I just let his music stream, reminds me of my family and childhood on I St NE.

My favorite favorites includeThe other Side of the World”, “Make Me a Believer”, “Anyone Who had a Heart”, “Searching”,Forever For Always For Love” etc etc etc