A week after suffering a stroke, singer Luther Vandross is showing signs of recovery and is in critical but stable condition. Doctors believe that the Grammy-winning artist has not suffered damage to the portion of the brain that controls speech, according to spokesperson Lois Najarian.
"The family and friends of Luther Vandross appreciate the national prayer vigil that was held [Wednesday] across the country," Najarian said in a statement released Wednesday (see "Luther Vandross Suffers Stroke"). "The prayers must be working! Luther Vandross has shown the first positive signs that his recovery is under way."
Vandross suffered the stroke on April 16, just a few days before his 52nd birthday, and a spokesperson for the Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital said he is still in the intensive care unit.
Najarian said that Vandross would be conscious if he were not so heavily sedated in order to keep him comfortable. He is expected to regain some consciousness over the next few days, she said.
The singer was scheduled to be the guest judge on "American Idol" on May 6.
Though that gig has been canceled, Najarian said J Records still expects to release the singer's new album, Dance With My Father, on June 10. The album features contributions from Beyoncé Knowles, Busta Rhymes, Stevie Wonder, Foxy Brown and Queen Latifah.
The title track from the album will be performed by former "American Idol" contestant Tamyra Gray on the April 28 episode of "Boston Public" (see "Method Man Has His Eyes Set On Tamrya Gray"). Najarian said that the show's creator, David E. Kelley, "fell in love with the song and built an entire episode around it."