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Luther Vandross Tribute Planned For Essence Music Festival

Luther Vandross All-Star Tribute will replace the singer's scheduled appearance at the Coca-Cola Presents the 2003 Essence Music Festival July 3-5 in New Orleans at the Superdome. Patti LaBelle, the Luther Vandross Band, Ashanti, Gerald Levert, Faith Evans and other special guests will perform. Essence will make a contribution from the July 4 concert tickets sales to a charity chosen by the Vandross family.

"We consider Luther Vandross part of the Essence family, and his past performances at the Essence Music Festival have been legendary and unforgettable," said Edward Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Essence Communications Partners. "Although Luther physically won't be with us in New Orleans, his spirit will fill the house through this celebration of his music."

Vandross is recovering from a massive stroke he suffered on April 16 that left him in a coma for nearly two months, which only recently he came out of.