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Ruben Studdard explains why now is the perfect time for his Luther Vandross tribute album


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Ruben Studdard, the American Idol season 2 champ who’s been compared to Luther Vandross, comes full circle today with a new album, Ruben Studdard Sings Luther Vandross  While the album has been something that fans have wanted for a long time, Ruben says it’s only now, later in life, that he feels he can do justice to Luther’s classic tunes.

He explains, “I feel like I understand who I am musically and what I want to accomplish musically now more than I did when I was 25, or 24 when I was releasing my first three albums.”

He adds, “I was kind of really trying to find myself, but every single time I would cover somebody’s song, the excitement for that was really phenomenal.”

That excitement started on American Idol, when he covered Leon Russell’s “Superstar” to great acclaim. He included that song on his debut album, Soulful, and it earned him a Grammy nomination.  Another cover on that album — The Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” — was also a fan favorite.

“Everybody was just like, ‘Oh my God! These should be your biggest records,'” Ruben recalls of the reaction to those songs. “It took me awhile to grow to understand that the people I idolized the most were the ones that were the best song interpreters.”  

So, when it comes to Luther, Ruben says, “It was just the perfect time for me to pay homage to somebody that I feel like is one of the greatest song interpreters of all time.”

Ruben will launch a tour in support of the album on April 8, and it’ll be designed to replicate as closely as possible the experience of attending an actual Luther concert.

Here’s the album tracklist for Ruben Studdard Sings Luther Vandross:    

“Always and Forever”
“Never Too Much”
“So Amazing”
“Don’t You Know That”
“Bad Boy/Having a Party”
“Love Won’t Let Me Wait”
“Here and Now”
“Til My Baby Comes Home”
“A House Is Not a Home”
“Power of Love”

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