Ailing soul crooner Luther Vandross thrilled the Grammy Awards audience in Los Angeles last night (08FEB04) with a heartfelt video message.

The singer, who suffered a stroke last year (03), won a trio of awards and was the subject of a tribute at the ceremony - but his video message was a big surprise.

Slurring his words, the singer thanked fans for their support, saying, "I want to thank everyone for your love and support and, remember, when I say goodbye it's never for long."

Vandross then showed he hasn't lost his smooth voice by singing, "I believe in the power of love."

There were also video messages from BEATLES RINGO STARR and PAUL McCARTNEY, who were honoured with the night's Presidents Award on the 40th anniversary of their first US TV performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

McCartney appeared from his studio playing the same guitar her played on the Sullivan show all those years ago.

Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison appeared at the ceremony to honour their late husbands.

Ono told the audience, "If JOHN (LENNON) was here tonight he'd be very happy that his efforts were acknowledged in this way by the Grammys and he would probably would want to say, 'Come together, give peace a chance and love is all you need.'"

09/02/2004 04:45