Dear John K. Martin, CEO of Turner Broadcasting:
As president and founder of the Luther Vandross Fan Club—and a basketball fan—it is my duty to make sure the legacy of the late Mr. Vandross is preserved for generations to come. With over 35 million records sold and thousands of children conceived to the sounds of his smooth vocals, he has touched March Madness enthusiasts for nearly 30 years with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament’s closing song, “One Shining Moment.”
You can imagine the stabbing pain I felt in my ribcage upon hearing that a NEW version of the classic March Madness closer would be sung by Ne-Yo, who, to put it in terms you can understand, is a mid-major in the world of R&B. As such, we, the members of the Luther Vandross Fan Club, urge you to reconsider.
Lord knows we are still trying to recover from the 2010 debacle that was Jennifer Hudson’s “One Shining Moment” remake; our fan club secretary Theresa STILL wakes up screaming about it. That you’re trying once again to silence an R&B king is insulting enough. But then you tried to replace him with a man who WILLINGLY starred in “Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!”
We can no longer remain silent.
It seems that Turner Broadcasting System has latched onto this new philosophy that reboots are what the public wants. Not everything needs to be remade. In short: IF I DIDN’T WATCH “FULLER HOUSE” THEN I’M NOT LISTENING TO NE-YO SING “ONE SHINING MOMENT.” I DIDN’T EVEN WATCH “FULL HOUSE” WHEN IT WAS ON.
Please tell me, Mr. Martin: What’s going to happen when Americans relive Northern Iowa guard Paul Jesperson’s half-court buzzer-beater and it ISN’T accompanied by a sweet tenor singing “you’re a shooting star”? Will it still feel the same? Even the thought of another man crooning “win or lose, you always did your best” while a stunned Tom Izzo nearly weeps into a press-conference microphone sends a shiver down my spine I haven’t felt since Kansas destroyed my bracket.
It is certainly your choice. But know that we will not simply stop to love Ne-Yo’s version in the face of this injustice. Refuse to comply with our request, and we will be forced to convene a seance. We’ll summon the ghost of Luther Vandross to haunt this tournament in 2017—and it WILL be teddy-bear-size Luther, not skinny Luther. Come March 2017, the echoes of his voice will seep into the minds and souls of every player and coach on the top-seeded teams, forcing first-round exits against 16 seeds and gutting the wallets of sports bettors nationwide. Here and now, we are warning you to right this wrong before we take it to the next level.
Yes, invoking the afterlife of our favorite singer may seem a bit extreme. But in the immortal words of Mr. Vandross himself, we believe it’s “never too much.”
The Luther Vandross Fan Club
Natalie McGill is a comedian and writer in need of a fan club. You should follow her on Twitter.