Patti LaBelle, one of the late Luther Vandross’ good friends, divulged information about his private life during Tuesday night’s appearance on “Watch What Happens Live.”
Host Andy Cohen asked LaBelle, 73, “Did he struggle with the idea of coming out publicly? Was that something that you talked about at all?”
“We talked about it,” LaBelle said without hesitation. “Basically, he did not want his mother to be… although she might have known, but he wasn’t going to come out and say this to the world. And he had a lot of lady fans and he told me he just didn’t want to upset the world.
“It was hard for him. What a wonderful man,” she added.
Despite constant chatter and rumors, Vandross, a New Jersey native known for his R&B voice and no less than a dozen hits, never addressed his sexuality.
He died in 2005 at age 54. According to a family statement, he “never really recovered” from a stroke he suffered in 2003.
LaBelle discusses Vandross at the end of the clip below