Can we please have a moment of silence . . .
For soul crooner Gerald Levert (1966-2006), the son of O'Jays frontman Eddie Levert, who passed away in his sleep on Friday at his home in Newbury, Ohio. A coroner's preliminary report revealed that the singer had mild to moderate heart disease, which may have killed him. He was 40 years old. "Eddie is "devastated," O'Jays co-founder Walter Williams told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. "He's a wreck, and rightfully so."
Much like his dad, Gerald -- who was affectionately called "G-Bear" by his fans -- was an emotive and soulful tenor who became one of R&B's prominent ladies' man. "When we would do shows together, we would get on stage and battle for the hearts of women," said fellow crooner and friend Will Downing. "Every night, that was our thing."
Gerald's singing career spans over two decades both as a solo artist and with two R&B supergroups LeVert (with his brother Sean and childhood pal Marc Gordon) and LSG (with Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill). In addition, he penned hits as a songwriter for such artists as Patti Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, the Winans, the late Barry White and many others. "He was such a great entertainer," recalls Patti. "It's not for real to me that he is gone . . . nobody was prepared for this."
Gerald is survived by his father, his mother, Martha; brothers, Sean and Eddie Jr.; a sister, Kandice; and his own three children. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Other noteworthy reading:
Rest In Power, Gerald.
Love, always . . .