Soul star Luther Vandross' mother is convinced her ailing son will awaken from his coma, because she has already seen signs of life.

Six weeks after a stroke rendered the GRAMMY-winning singer all but comatose, his mother MARY claims to have "witnessed a miracle" when she went to see him in a Manhattan, New York hospital.

Of the 2 June (03) event, she says, "I called to him. I said, 'Your momma's here.' He turned and actually smiled. He opened his eyes and he looked at me a long time. He tried to say, 'Momma.'"

His cousin BRENDA SHIELDS adds, "It seems like we are truly on our way to a recovery."

Meanwhile, Vandross' family have read him e-mails from fans and relayed messages from famous friends such as Patti Labelle and Burt Bacharach. He also has his favourite game shows on a loop on a TV in his room.

06/06/2003 09:13