Gerald Levert, the fiery singer of passionate
R&B love songs and the son of O’Jays singer Eddie Levert, died on
Friday. He was 40.
His label, Atlantic Records, confirmed that Levert died at his
home in Cleveland, Ohio.
“All of us at Atlantic are shocked and deeply saddened by his
untimely death. He was one of the greatest voices of our time, who
sang with unmatched soulfulness and power, as well as a
tremendously gifted composer and an accomplished producer,” the
statement read.
Dan Bomeli, public relations manager at University Hospitals
Geauga Medical Center in suburban Cleveland, said Levert had been
brought to the hospital. Bomeli said Levert had died but he had no
further details.
Over his two-decade music career, Levert sold millions of albums
and had numerous R&B hits.
Levert first gained fame in 1986 as a member of the R&B trio
LeVert, which also included his brother, Sean, and childhood friend
Marc Gordon. They quickly racked up hits like “(Pop, Pop, Pop,
Pop) Goes My Mind,” “Casanova,” and “Baby I’m Ready.”
But Gerald Levert’s voice — powerful and soulful, almost a
carbon copy of his father’s — was always the focal point, and in
1991, he made his solo debut with the album “Private Line,” which
included a hit duet with his dad, “Baby Hold on to Me.” His
father also recorded the successful album “Father & Son.”
Levert was known for his sensual, romantic songs, but unlike a
Luther Vandross, whose voice and songs were more genteel, Levert’s
music was explosive and raw — his 2002 album was titled “The G
Though Levert was successful as a solo singer, in 1997 he got
into group mode again — joining with R&B singers Johnny Gill and
Keith Sweat for the supergroup of LSG. The self-titled album sold
more than two million copies, and their hits included the sensual
“My Body.” Levert also worked with other artists as a songwriter
and producer.
His most recent album was 2005’s “Voices.”
Levert had four children.