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Gerald Levert

 Gerald Levert (July 13, 1966 - November 10, 2006) was an American R&B singer, one of several from the musical Levert family. His father, Eddie Levert, is the lead singer of the 1970s soul group The O'Jays. Gerald Levert sang with his brother, Sean Levert, and friend Marc Gordon in the R&B trio LeVert. He was also a part of LSG, an R&B musical group comprising Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and Levert.

 Levert was born to The O'Jays frontman Eddie Levert and his wife Martha in Canton , Ohio . Due to his father's career, Levert was exposed to music from a young age and would travel with the band regularly. While in high school, Levert's inclination towards music became apparent when he formed the R&B trio LeVert with his younger brother Sean and friend Marc Gordon in 1984. The group proved to be very successful with four of its seven albums going platinum. These include I Get Hot in 1985, Bloodline in 1986, The Big Throwdown in 1987 and Just Coolin' in 1988. Among the group's memorable hits were "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind", "Casanova", and "ABC-123" (not to be confused with the Jackson 5 hit of the same name).

 Levert died of an apparent heart attack in his sleep while at his Cleveland-area home.[1] Sister 2 Sister magazine reported that Gerald and his father had just returned from a 10-day trip to South Africa where they had met with Nelson Mandela. He had three children Lemicah, Carlysia and Camryn .[1]

His label, Atlantic Records, confirmed that Levert died at his home on November 10, 2006 at the age of 40 and issued the following statement:

"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 label said in a statement.

 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.

Levert's family released a statement asking for privacy: "As everybody knows, Gerald was a man who lived and breathed music. To his family and friends he was a man of strong character, who had an infectious personality and a zest for life. For his fans, his greatest love was touching the hearts and souls of all people through his music. At this very difficult time, we thank you for your prayers and hope you will understand our need for privacy," the statement read.

 Patti LaBelle, who had worked and recorded with Levert, said he "was like a son" to her. "He was such a great entertainer. It's not for real to me that he is gone ... Nobody was prepared for this." LaBelle added that she hopes to sing at Levert's funeral.

 "It's very sad. He was an amazing talent, obviously", friend and fellow R&B singer, Will Downing, said. "Gerald was a hard worker. He would go out there and do his thing, and be in places where the folks were. He would touch the people, and that's really what it's all about."

"When we would do shows together, we would get on stage and battle for the hearts of women. Every night, that was our thing," Downing said.

 The City of Cleveland announced that they will be renaming a street to Gerald Levert Lane in Levert's honor.

References:
Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Levert
Picture: http://images.1strowseats.com/300x180/Gerald%20Levert300.jpg