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Late Luther Vandross’ Items to be Auctioned

R&B singer Luther Vandross spent his money on top notch products like diamond watches, mink coats and crystal vases. Now fans of the legendary crooner, who died in 2005 at 54, will have a chance to bid on more than 1,000 of these expensive items. On Dec. 5-6, his estate will auction just about everything: his handwritten lyrics to “Love Forgot”; the army green thermoses from which he sipped hot tea during his concerts; designer loafers and boots; Lalique crystal vases, glasses and doorknobs. The items come from his former homes in Beverly Hills, Calif.; Greenwich, Conn.; and New York; and from his tours. Fans have an expectation of how stars live, and Vandross’ items won’t disappoint, said Max Szadek, his personal assistant for 13 years. “This mink-lined chair symbolized the lap of luxury that Luther lived in and just how a star, a world-class entertainer, kind of lived it out in his private life, too,” Szadek said as he walked through 13,000 square feet of items displayed at an auction house in a suburban office park. Szadek said fans will see many items that Vandross brought with him on tours, from the banal to the bling — like a silver Piaget diamond-encrusted watch, a silver diamond-encrusted tennis bracelet and a 4-carat diamond ring. The touring and music memorabilia on sale span his career, with a record from David Bowie’s “Young American,” on which Vandross sang background, to a double platinum certification of “Dance With My Father,” Szadek said. The collection is valued between $600,000 and $800,000, said John Nye, whose Morris Plains, N.J.-based auction house, Dawson & Nye, is handling the sale. Source: Billboard

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