Dawn Robinson, a founding member of the multiplatinum R&B group En Vogue recently revealed details of the behind the scenes drama from their 1993 tour with R&B legend Luther Vandross. If you grew up on 80s/90s R&B there's some great tea in this interview. It also gives a window into some of the sad realities of music industry economics - no wonder so many successful acts from this era went broke! (TLC, Toni Braxton, etc.)
- En Vogue was forced to take the tour. Even though their latest album Funky Divas was triple platinum in the US and sold over 5 million copies worldwide, the group was broke and desperate for money.
- Because they were desperate, Luther got their management to agree to a ridiculously unfair contract. There were several clauses put into the contract to guarantee that they would never outshine Luther as the headlining act. En Vogue was forbidden to wear the colors red, white, blue or black. Their costumes could not have sequins, sparkle, or anything that could catch the light.
- Luther's tour had a revolving stage that could not accomodate En Vogue's band. As a result, they would have their backs to half the audience while they were performing.
- The contract forbade En Vogue from walking past Luther's dressing room. When he caught them walking past his dressing room at a stop in Miami, he called the police on them.
- After 2 months of conflict there was a final confrontation between Luther and En Vogue. Luther basically told them that it's not his fault that their management agreed to a shitty deal. They quit the tour shortly thereafter.