HOUSTON — Good news everybody, the Turner executives have heard our cries and have reinstated Luther Vandross as the One Shining Moment artist of record.
After casually mentioning during a conference call March 29 that a new artist would be recording the wonderfully hokey and cheesy song for this year’s tournament, Turner Sports avoided a major crisis and reassured the public that Vandross is still the centerpiece of the final tournament video montage.
A 2003 recording of his vocals will accompany the all-encompassing NCAA Tournament highlight montage at the end of the national title game on TBS. But, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the song, NE-YO is recording his own version to be used for team-centric highlights on the Team Stream coverage on TNT and Tru-TV.
For the last 29 years, the song originally written and recorded by David Barrett has accompanied a tournament highlight reel following the end of the national championship.
Teddy Pendergrass also recorded his own version for a couple of tournaments, but Vandross, who died in 2005, took over in 2003 and has been a March Madness staple ever since — except for 2010 when CBS bestowed the honor to Jennifer Hudson. It didn’t go over so well, and Vandross’ version returned the following year.
Luther Vandross is One Shining Moment and One Shining Moment is Luther Vandross.
When news got out that Vandross may not be doing One Shining Moment this year, the players at the Final Four were pretty distraught. Though they were pretty upset that Vandross might be snubbed, they had a few replacements in mind.
Syracuse’s Michael Gbinije and Tyler Robertson suggested that the song be totally revamped by Lil Wayne.
“Lil Wayne, that’s interesting,” Robertson said. “I would want to see that too. That’d be different. Lil Wayne, that’d be funny.”
Orange freshman Franklin Howard is on board with Lil Wayne and also tossed Future into the mix. Seeing as the Atlanta rapper already recorded a song called March Madness, a One Shining Moment remake isn’t THAT out of the question.
Fellow Syracuse freshman Doyin Akintobi-Adeyeye went with some local power and said he’d like Houston native Beyonce to put her own mark on the song. And if she showed up to sing the song live after the National Championship? Even better.
“I’d be very happy but I couldn’t show it in front of my teammates because I don’t want them to know,” Akintobi-Adeyeye said. “At some point I’d hopefully be able to meet her, and say, ‘thank you so much’ or say, ‘how you doing? My name is Doyin.’”
UNC’s Stilman White supports a Rihanna or Taylor Swift taking the reins while teammate Justin Coleman would love a Chris Brown-Drake duet.
But not everybody was on board with picking Vandross’ replacement. There’s only one King of the Bedroom (court?). No need to fix what’s not broken, ya know?
“I don’t think I would get rid of Luther,” UNC freshman Kenny Williams said. “He’s a great singer. It’s just a tribute to him. I would just stick with Luther.”
Tar Heel junior Kennedy Meeks agreed.
“That is disrespectful,” said Meeks, shaking his head and leaning over to interrupt teammate Brice Johnson’s own line of questioning to tell him the bad news.
“How is he not (singing this year)? I don’t want to hear that. I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’d much rather hear Luther Vandross.”
Don’t worry guys, crisis averted. We’ll be singing right along with y’all and Vandross after the title game April 4.