Gerald LeVert died at home on Friday, November 10, 2006, at his home in Cleveland, Ohio.
He was 40 years old.
Gerald LeVert began singing as a young child, heavily influenced by
watching his father in action. Summers spent touring with The
O'Jays allowed him to meet R&B legends like James Brown and one of his major musical influences, the late Marvin Gaye.
"During those times, I knew that singing and performing was what I
wanted to do. My dad tried to talk me out of it, but it was no use, my
mind was made up," recalled Gerald.
After many years of mimicking his father's group, Gerald and his younger brother Sean, along with their childhood friend, Marc Gordon formed the group, LeVert.
"People think that because my dad was Eddie
LeVert that it was easy, but it wasn't. He gave us guidance and advice,
but that was it," says Gerald. The group made a name for themselves
in the Cleveland area and in 1985 landed a record deal with an
independent label, which helped them catch the attention of Atlantic
Records, with whom they signed in 1986. LeVert's coupling with Atlantic
Records proved to be very successful and resulted in numerous number one
singles, six gold albums, two Soul Train Music awards and
a Grammy nomination.
Though the group was successful, Gerald LeVert still wanted more, and in 1991 with full blessing from his group
members, released "Private
Line" his first solo album. "Private
Line" went gold and garnered two number one hits. In
1994, he released his second solo album "Groove
On," which catapulted him into stardom. The album achieved
platinum status and put Gerald at the top of the charts again, with the
David Foster produced single, "I'd Give Anything."
Just when it seemed that there was nothing else he
could do to top himself, Gerald did it again. After the success of
"Baby Hold On To Me" (duet with his father, Eddie LeVert) from
Line" album, people kept saying "you guys
should do an album of songs together" and they thought about it and
said "Why not?"
So in 1995, Gerald and his father released
the critically acclaimed "Father
& Son" album. The album became one of those rare musical moments that
created an entirely new audience for Gerald, one where families could point to
him as a new role model that symbolized the importance of family. "The whole
thing took on a life of its own," said Gerald. "I think people saw through us the
willingness to endure the scrapes that families go through, and still
come out stronger than ever." One of the album's many highlights
was a heart stopping version of the classic ballad, "Wind
Beneath My Wings."
In between his work on his solo and LeVert albums,
Gerald took time to produce a number of major artists (with Marc Gordon
and current writing partner, Edwin "Tony" Nicholas), including
The O'Jays, Stephanie Mills, James
Baker and Barry White. Through his company, Trevel
Productions, which he co-owned with Sean and Marc, he oversaw the
development of new artists from Cleveland such as the Rude Boys, Men At
Large, 1 of the Girls, and Drama.
Always the one to keep his fans guessing on what he
would do next, Gerald embarked on another musical adventure by joining
forces with Keith Sweat and
Johnny Gill to form the super group, LSG.
The album stretched the boundaries of the collaborative process,
including guest appearances that read like a who's who of the music
industry. Guests included Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J,
Elliott and CoKo of SWV.
"My Body," the group's first single, soared to the top of the
charts and gave them their first platinum single.
Notable songs include --
- I'm Still
- That's What Love Is
- Baby Hold On To Me
- School Me
- I Swear
- I'd Give Anything
- Mr. Too Damn Good
- You Got Your Hooks in Me
- Private Line
- Can You Handle It
- Nothin' to Somethin'
- Application (I'm Lookin 4 a New Love)
- Already Missing You
- Thinkin' Bout It
- That's the Way I Feel About You
Gerald LeVert will be missed.
Remember him through his music.
For R&B artists' booking information, click
Genre: -- R&B
Years active: 90s, 00s
Born: in Ohio
Jul 13, 1966
Died: in Ohio
Nov 10, 2006