Luther Vandross suffers a stroke. The 51-year-old R&B star's prognosis is uncertain

By Gary Susman
April 18, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Luther Vandross: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images/Newscom

R&B titan Luther Vandross suffered a stroke on Wednesday, his business manager said. ”Family and friends are hopeful for a speedy recovery,” said the manager, Carmen Romano, in a terse statement. It was unclear if Vandross, who turns 52 on Sunday, had suffered any permanent damage or impairment. ”We’re all very optimistic at this point,” Lois Najarian, a publicist for J Records, told the Associated Press.

The four-time Grammy winner has long suffered from health problems, including diabetes and hypertension, and has seen his weight fluctuate, rising as high as 330 pounds at one point. Najarian told AP that Vandross, who is being treated in an undisclosed New York hospital, had been in good health and had completed an album due for release in June.