Today’s song is “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” by Luther Vandross and Gregory Hines. I made this selection, not only is this a great Valentine’s Day song, but the late, great Gregory Hines was born on this day in 1946. Sadly, both of these men are gone too soon. Hines (February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003) not only has some singing chops, but he was an incredible dancer and choreographer, and he was also a great actor, starring in the films Wolfen (1981), The Cotton Club (1984), Running Scared (1986) – one of my favorite buddy-cop flicks of the ’80s, and Tap (1989). Hines died of liver cancer on August 9, 2003 after being diagnosed for just over a year.
And who can resist the sweet, soulful voice of Luther Vandross (April 20, 1951 – July 1, 2005)? Luther is an R&B legend, being nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Male R&B Vocal Performance 16 times, and winning 4. Sadly, Luther died on July 1, 2005, at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, at the age of 54 due to a heart attack.
Now on to this incredible, and underplayed tune! “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” is on Luther’s 1986 album, Give Me the Reason. The album earned Vandross an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist and a nomination for “Favorite Soul/R&B Album” in 1988, while the title track was nominated for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male at the 29th Grammy Awards.
This single peaked at number one on the Billboard R&B chart, for one week, and peaked at #50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “There’s Nothing Better Than Love” was Luther Vandross’ follow up to his previous number one R&B hit, “Stop to Love”, becoming his third number one on the chart.
Luther and Gregory sound great together. It’s too bad they didn’t do more songs together. But, at least we have this gem to enjoy.