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"American Idol" Star Ruben Studdard Coming To The East End

Nicole Barylski

American Idol winner Ruben Studdard is paying tribute to his musical hero, Luther Vandross, during a special show at the Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on Sunday, January 6.

The R&B, pop and gospel singer and actor appeared on the second season of American Idol where he edged out Clay Aiken for top honors. Studdard, who has recorded six studio albums and sold over two million albums worldwide, earned a Grammy Award nomination in 2003 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for Superstar.

Studdard's latest project, Ruben Sings Luther, is entirely dedicated to Vandross' work - encompassing ten beloved songs - including 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, and Power of Love.

"For Ruben Sings Luther, my goal was to not only to pay tribute to Luther but to add my own passion on top of Luther's brilliant songs," Ruben Studdard notes on his website. "It all started with my mom who has always loved Luther and played his music in our home continuously - especially during Christmas."

The longtime Vandross fan has covered the Grammy Award winning superstar for many, many years. "You can say I grew up with the world's biggest Luther fan. In my young teens, I would perform a Luther song or two at weddings and people would keep requesting more of his hits. I recorded Superstar awhile back which was Grammy nominated and sang different Luther songs during my live shows," Studdard noted. "But people always asked when I was going to do an album of Luther's songs. Happily the day has arrived. It was a thrilling experience selecting the songs from his different albums and putting my own interpretation on them. I am so proud of this record."

And, not only will the evening at the Suffolk Theater highlight Vandross' songs, but Studdard will also draw upon the singer's performances by incorporating similar production elements, background singers, musicians, wardrobe and lighting elements.

"Studdard truly took wing and made the music of Vandross his own," A.D. Amorosi of Variety noted about the Studdard's Ruben Sings Luther tour.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $65 to $75.

The Suffolk Theater will also host the #1 Bee Gees Tribute, Night Fever Bee Gees Tribute, on Friday,
January 4 at 8 p.m.

Suffolk Theater is located at 118 East Main Street in Riverhead. For more information, call 631-727-4343 or visit www.suffolktheater.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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