Another great editorial piece on our Artist of the Month comes to us today from one of our new contributing writers – Al-Lateef Farmer. Make sure to check him out at as well as you can follow him on Twitter here.

If you got married, were in a wedding or just invited to a wedding between the summer of 1989 and 1991, there is very little doubt that “Here & Now” by Luther Vandross wasn’t performed or played. “Here & Now” became the theme song for love; it is that song that seems to sum up everything you’ve always wanted to say to the person you love.

“One look in your eyes and there I see, just what you mean to me,” sets the tone for the song that would bring Luther his first Top-10 pop hit and his first Grammy Award. “Here & Now” was an inclusion on The Best of Luther Vandross…The Best of Love, a greatest hits collection that featured only two new songs, “Treat You Right” and “Here & Now”. Luther had made and remade many beautiful love songs in his career prior to The Best of Luther…, but he found that his success hadn’t translated to the pop charts or Grammy wins, which was a huge source of disappointment to him and was often cause for his weight fluctuation.

WBLS ran a promotion that gave the winning couple a chance to have Luther perform the song at their wedding, he performed the song on Oprah and she asked him to sing it at her wedding (still waiting for that to happen), the song was everywhere! During this time, Luther lost a considerable amount of weight (again) and seemed to be very happy, enjoyed the success of the single and the album, but watched the 1990 Grammy Awards go by without a win.

However, at the 1991 ceremony, Luther finally got what he worked so hard for, beating Johnny Gill, Al B. Sure!, Tevin Campbell and Babyface in the “Best R&B Vocal Performance-Male” category. Luther took the stage and belted out a line from the song, “…your love is all I need” to begin his acceptance speech, that moment explained just how much that win meant for him. On the other hand, the video spoke to the song’s crossover appeal, as a pastel effect floats through and Luther sings as two white lovers visually tell the story he sings. At this point, I realized that we would have to share Luther, much like we did Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston; he was no longer the secret treasure of Black America. Luther would go on to find the success on the pop charts again in the years to come and win three more Grammys, though one came after his premature death in 2005 after the release and success of Dance With My Father.

There’s one part of the song that I love, during the bridge when he breaks it down & belts out, “I’m starting right here, starting right now because I believe in your love, so I’m glad to take the vow!”, it’s one of those moments that makes you wish you could find someone to love that much.