Ailing Vandross Won't Attend Grammys

02/03/2004 AT 07:39 PM EST

Luther Vandross, still recovering from a near-fatal stroke suffered last Easter, will not be able to attend Sunday's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where he's nominated for five awards, including song of the year for "Dance With My Father," reports the Associated Press.

There had been hopes that Vandross, 52, would be there. Instead, Celine Dion and Alicia Keys have been announced to pay tribute to him on the live CBS broadcast.

"It would have been a tremendous moment for Luther to attend the Grammy Awards this year," his business manager, Carmen Romano, said in a statement Monday. "But on the advice of his doctors, I regret to say that Luther won't be able to make this trip."

Vandross, who has been on the mend, according to several visitors who've seen him (including record honcho Clive Davis), spent several weeks in a hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility in the New York City area. He remains in a wheelchair.

In Sunday's race, Vandross is up for five Grammys for his "Dance With My Father." (The title song, co-written with Richard Marx, pays tribute to Vandross's late father.) The album, released last summer, turned into the fastest-selling disc of his career and has sold nearly two million copies.

Meanwhile, Vandross's mother, Mary, who has been representing her son at other awards events since his stroke, has shot two public service announcements about diabetes, which played a role in his health setback. Mary's husband and another son died from the disease, according to a statement from Vandross's publicist.

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