R&B Singer Gerald Levert Dead at 40
Mon, 13 Nov 2006 09:12:37
R&B singer Gerald Levert died on Friday (November 10th) after suffering a fatal heart attack. The singer, the son of famed O'Jays lead singer Eddie Levert, was only 40 years old.
"He was one of the greatest artists of our time, who sang with unmatched soulfulness and power, as well as a tremendously gifted composer and an accomplished producer," read a statement from Levert's record label, Atlantic. "Above all, he was an exceptional human begin whose warmth and grace inspired us all."
Levert was a member of several successful R&B groups, including Levert (with his brother, Sean), and LSG, which counted Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill as its other members. Levert had a number of R&B chart-toppers in the late '80s and early '90s, both with his brother and as a solo artist, including "Private Line" in 1991. Levert earned a Grammy nomination by co-writing and co-producing Barry White's last #1 R&B single, 1994's "Practice What You Preach." Perhaps his most unpredictable contributions to the pop culture canon came on Chris Rock's "No Sex (In the Champagne Room)" and on MTV's My Super Sweet 16, where he appeared last year with his daughter Calysia (he is survived by four children).
"Nobody was prepared for this," said Patti LaBelle, who had worked with Levert. "It's not real for me that he's gone."
Levert was saluted -- along with recently deceased 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley -- by Sean "Diddy" Combs at the BET Hip-Hop Awards on Sunday. "Let's celebrate their lives," he told the audience. "People will forever miss y'all."
--The ARTISTdirect Staff