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Gerald Levert

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Gerald Levert
Levert in 1988
Levert in 1988
Background information
Birth nameGerald Edward Levert[1]
Also known as
  • Shadow
  • The Teddy Bear[2]
Born(1966-07-13)July 13, 1966
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedNovember 10, 2006(2006-11-10) (aged 40)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
  • Singer–songwriter
  • record producer
Years active1983–2006
Formerly of

Gerald Edward Levert (July 13, 1966 – November 10, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and producer. Levert performed with his brother, Sean Levert, and friend Marc Gordon with the R&B vocal group, LeVert. Levert was also a member of LSG, a supergroup comprising Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and himself. Levert was the son of Eddie Levert, lead singer of the R&B/soul vocal group the O'Jays. He released 9 solo albums, 6 as a member of LeVert, 2 with his father, and 2 as a member of LSG. Levert was also credited with the discovery of R&B groups the Rude Boys, Men at Large, and 1 of the Girls. Levert was also part of the R&B group Black Men United.

Early life and education[edit]

Levert was born on July 13, 1966, in Philadelphia, to the frontman of the O'Jays, Eddie Levert,[1] and his wife Martha. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

Levert often joined his father and his band on the road for their various performances. While in high school, Levert's inclination towards music became apparent when he formed the trio LeVert, with his younger brother Sean Levert (September 28, 1968 – March 30, 2008) and friend Marc Gordon in 1983.

Singing career[edit]

Four of LeVert's seven albums went gold.

Levert's first solo album, Private Line, debuted in 1991 and topped the R&B charts. The following year, Gerald and his father, Eddie Levert, topped the R&B charts again with the single, Baby Hold On to Me. Levert recorded a string of albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, that contained the hit singles, "Thinkin' About It" (No. 12 Pop) which was released June 23, 1998, "Taking Everything" (No. 11 Pop),[3] "Funny", "Mr. Too Damn Good to You", "U Got That Love", and a remake of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly", along with gospel singer Yolanda Adams. Levert also sang lead vocals in two songs on the 2002 film documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" - the story of the Funk Brothers. Levert performed "Shotgun" and "Reach Out I'll Be There". Levert released his tenth album, Voices, in 2005.

Levert wrote and produced songs for other artists such as Patti LaBelle, Barry White, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker, Eugene Wilde, Teddy Pendergrass, James Ingram, Freddie Jackson, Chuckii Booker, the Rude Boys, New Edition, Men at Large, The O'Jays, Keith Washington and 1 of the Girls. During the release of Groove On, Levert appeared in the group Black Men United for the hit single "U Will Know" for the Jason's Lyric soundtrack; other members of the group included Keith Sweat, Christopher Williams and Levert's former mentor Joe Little of the Rude Boys. In 1997, Levert teamed up again with fellow singers Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill, to form the supergroup, LSG.[4] The trio released the album Levert-Sweat-Gill the same year, selling over two million copies;[4] it was followed by LSG2 in 2003.

In 1999, Levert sang the chorus on the Chris Rock spoken-word comedy piece, "No Sex (In the Champagne Room)". Levert performed a duet with Teena Marie on the latter's 2004 album La Doña. Levert's last collaborations included Jim Brickman on the song "My Angel", for Brickman's 2006 album entitled Escape and on the song "Real S***" from rapper Styles P's album, Time Is Money. Levert was posthumously featured again on former groupmates Keith Sweat's "Knew It All Along" and Johnny Gill from the singer's Til the Morning album, which was released two days before Levert's fifth anniversary of his death. Levert was also posthumously featured on Keith Sweat's track "Let's Go to Bed" from his 2016 studio album Dress to Impress.

Acting career[edit]

Levert began his acting career as Charles Young, his first appearance on The Jamie Foxx Show for 2 episodes with "Just Don't Do It", that aired on November 5, 1998, and Jamie disapproves of his mother (Jo Marie Payton) because she decided to marry him in the episode. In January 2001, Gerald appears again in the series finale "Always and Forever" when Jamie (Jamie Foxx) and Fancy (Garcelle Beauvais) got married and sang the opening ceremony at the wedding and joined by fellow singers Gladys Knight and Marilyn McCoo (without her husband Billy Davis Jr.). On November 10, 2003 (exactly three years prior to his death), Levert's final acting role that aired during his lifetime was when he appeared in an episode of The Parkers, He played T's father in the episode and comes for a visit to start a new band with T.


On November 10, 2006, Levert was found dead in his bed at his home in Cleveland, Ohio, at age 40[5] Initial reports stated that Levert had died of an apparent heart attack,[6] but the autopsy report conducted by the Cuyahoga County coroner's office concluded that Levert's death was caused by a fatal combination of prescription narcotics and over-the-counter drugs. The drugs in his bloodstream included the narcotic pain relievers Vicodin, Percocet, and Darvocet, the anxiety medication Xanax, and two over-the-counter antihistamines. The autopsy also revealed that Levert had pneumonia. The official cause of death was acute intoxication, and the death was ruled accidental.[7] Following disclosure of Levert's cause of death, a family spokesman stated that all the drugs found in Levert's bloodstream were prescribed to the singer. Levert was taking the pain medication because of chronic pain from a lingering shoulder problem and surgery in 2005 to repair a severed Achilles tendon.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Levert dated singer Miki Howard from 1985 to 1989.[citation needed] In 2003, Levert had a relationship with singer Kandi Burruss.[8] They had no children together. Levert had three children:[with whom?] LeMicah, Camryn, and Carlysia.[9] Carlysia, an aspiring singer, appeared on the MTV series My Super Sweet 16, with her father in 2005. His father is the third cousin of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player Caris LeVert.[10]

Shortly before his death, Levert completed work on what would be his final album, In My Songs. The album was released on February 13, 2007.[11] In June 2007, a book Gerald was working to complete entitled, I Got Your Back: A Father and Son Keep it Real About Love, Fatherhood, Family, and Friendship, was released. The book was initially planned as a tie-in for a Levert album of the same name. I Got Your Back explores Gerald and Eddie's father/son relationship, the necessity of male bonding, and the importance of repairing fractured families.[12] Levert was also working on a reality show in which he was losing weight along with 12 of his female fans, who were training with him at his palatial home.[13]

Awards and nominations[edit]

On December 7, 2006, it was announced that Levert, along with Chaka Khan, Yolanda Adams and Carl Thomas were nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo Or Group With Vocals for their collaboration on "Everyday (Family Reunion)", a song from the soundtrack of Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion.[14] He was nominated again for the Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for his single, "In My Songs". At the 50th annual Grammy Awards, it was announced that Levert had won the award for "In My Songs". Levert's brother and former founding LeVert member Sean Levert accepted on his late brother's behalf. On August 17, 2013, in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Gerald Levert was inducted into the 2013 class of the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame along with the O'Jays.

  • American Music Award
    • 1999, Favorite R&B/Soul Band, Duo or Group (Nominated) with LSG
    • 1993, Favorite Male R&B/Soul Artist (Nominated)
    • 1988, Favorite R&B/Soul Single: "Casanova" (Nominated) with Levert
  • BET Awards
    • 2007, Favorite Male R&B Artist: (Nominated)
    • 2007, BET Just Cool Like Dat: (Winner)
  • Grammy Awards
    • 2008, Best Traditional R&B Performance: "In My Songs" (Winner)
    • 2007, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group: "Everyday (Family Reunion)" (Nominated) with Chaka Khan, Carl Thomas & Yolanda Adams
    • 1998, Best R&B Album By A Duo or Group: "Levert Sweat Gill" (Nominated) with LSG
    • 1988, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group: "Casanova" (Nominated) with Levert
  • Image Awards
    • 2004, Outstanding Male Artist (Nominated)
    • 2008, Best Duo or Group (Winner) as Gerald Levert & Eddie Levert
  • Soul Train Awards
    • 2003, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Album: The G Spot (Nominated)
    • 1999, Favorite Band, Duo or Group Album: Levert.Sweat.Gill (Nominated)
    • 1995, Favorite Male Soul/R&B Album: Groove On (Nominated)
    • 1988, Favorite Band, Duo or Group Single: "Casanova" (Winner) with Levert
    • 1988, Favorite Band, Duo or Group Album: The Big Throwdown (Winner) with Levert


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions Certifications

Private Line
  • Released: October 15, 1991
  • Label: EastWest
  • Formats: CD
48 1
Groove On
  • Released: September 6, 1994
  • Label: EastWest
  • Formats: CD
18 2
  • RIAA: Platinum
Father and Son
(with Eddie Levert)
  • Released: September 26, 1995
  • Label: EastWest
  • Formats: CD
20 2
  • RIAA: Gold
Love & Consequences
  • Released: July 21, 1998
  • Label: EastWest
  • Formats: CD
17 2
  • RIAA: Platinum
  • Released: March 7, 2000
  • Label: EastWest
  • Formats: CD, digital download
8 2
  • RIAA: Gold
Gerald's World
  • Released: September 18, 2001
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: CD, digital download
6 2
The G Spot
  • Released: October 15, 2002
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: CD, digital download
9 2
Stroke of Genius
  • Released: October 21, 2003
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: CD, digital download
6 1
Do I Speak for the World
  • Released: November 30, 2004
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: CD, digital download
29 7
In My Songs
  • Released: February 13, 2007
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
2 1
Something to Talk About
(with Eddie Levert)
  • Released: June 12, 2007
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilations albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions Certifications

  • Released: October 4, 2005
  • Label: Elektra
  • Formats: CD, digital download
115 27
The Best of Gerald Levert
  • Released: August 31, 2010
  • Label: Rhino
  • Formats: CD, digital download
162 12
An Introduction to: Gerald Levert
  • Released: June 29, 2018
  • Label: Rhino
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Made to Love Ya
  • Released: March 13, 2020
  • Label: X5 Music
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Pop
1988 "That's What Love Is"
(with Miki Howard)
1990 "Just One of Them Things"
(with Keith Sweat)
1991 "Private Line" 1
1992 "Baby Hold On to Me"
(with Eddie Levert)
37 1
"School Me" 3
"Can You Handle It" 9
1994 "I'd Give Anything" 28 4
1995 "Already Missing You"
(with Eddie Levert)
75 7
"Answering Service" 12
"Can't Help Myself" 98 15
"How Many Times" 55
1996 "Wind Beneath My Wings"
(with Eddie Levert)
1998 "Thinkin' Bout It" 12 2 77
"Taking Everything" 11 3
1999 "Breakin' My Heart"
(featuring Sean Levert)
"Nothin' to Somethin" 55
2000 "Baby U Are" 89 31
"Mr. Too Damn Good" 76 20
"Dream With No Love" 84
2001 "Made to Love Ya" 37
"Make My Day"
(featuring Joe Little III & Sean Levert)
2002 "What Makes It Good to You (No Premature Lovin')" 66
"Too Much Room" (featuring Mystikal) 67
"Funny" 37
2003 "Closure" 57
"Wear It Out" 58
2004 "A Rose by Any Other Name"
(with Teena Marie)
"U Got That Love (Call It a Night)" 30
"One Million Times" 56
2005 "So What (If You Got a Baby)" 49
2007 "In My Songs" 52
"DJ Don't" 31
2010 "Can It Stay" 25
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


  1. ^ a b Lytle, Craig. "Gerald Levert | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "R&B Bridgez: Salutes 'The Teddy Bear' Gerald LeVert". March 25, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "US Charts > LeVert". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 3, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Gerald Levert, 40, Rhythm and Blues Singer, Dies". The New York Times. November 11, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gerald Levert Was Working On Book At Time Of Death". WEWS Cleveland. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "R&B Singer Gerald Levert Dies of Heart Attack - Gerald Levert". People.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Accidental Drug Mix Said to Kill Levert". The Washington Post. February 11, 2007.
  8. ^ Willis, Kiersten (December 10, 2018). "What?! Kandi Burruss Dated Gerald Levert Back In The Day and Fans Are Freaking Out". Atlanta Black Star. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  9. ^ "Legal tug-of-war erupts over Gerald Levert's will". Cleveland.com. August 1, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  10. ^ Franklin, Drew (March 5, 2014). "College Basketball Road Trip: Michigan — The most interesting team in the world". FOX Sports. Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Cleveland". TripSavvy.com. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "Remembering Gerald Levert : VIBE.com". Archived from the original on October 27, 2007.
  13. ^ Schudel, Matt (November 11, 2006). "Sultry-Voiced R& B Balladeer, Songwriter Gerald Levert, 40". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ "LA Daily News - Full list of Grammy nominees". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on May 16, 2007.
  15. ^ "GERALD LEVERT - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 9, 2022.

External links[edit]