Patti LaBelle got candid about her good friend Luther Vandross’ sexuality during an interview on “Watch What Happens Live” on Tuesday.
LaBelle shares how she first met the late singer, who died in 2005, and how he became the first president of her fan club. Then Andy Cohen questions LaBelle on Vandross’ sexuality
“Did he struggle with the idea of coming out publicly? Was that something that you talked about at all?” Cohen asks LaBelle.
“We talked about it,” LaBelle replies. “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.”
Vandross’ sexuality is said to have been an “open secret” in the industry.
The singer’s friend, writer Bruce Vilanch, said Vandross “was way ‘in’ (the closet). He said to me, ‘No one knows I’m in the life.’”
Out journalist Michael Musto also claimed, “A famously open gay singer/songwriter (told me) Luther was dying to have a boyfriend. It was an inside show business open secret.”