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  • GERALD LEVERT: In Memoriam

    From The BV Entertainment Newswire Blog:

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006
    4:12:00 PM EST
    Feeling Sad

    GERALD LEVERT: In Memoriam

    By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices

    Death is something isn't it.

    For all of its darkness and its finality, one of the great things that comes from it is that act of being reflective.

    The topic may have been commonplace in millions of black music lovers' homes this weekend as the unsettling news of the loss of another powerful voice settled into our consciousness.

    I am referring to Gerald Levert; yet another brother whose life was cut short all too suddenly.

    While I am not one to wallow in despair -- like some really can -- the popular R&B crooner's sudden death of an apparent heart attack was a bit jarring.

    As I listened to the late Rick James sing his face off on the underrated and heart-jerking ballad "Hollywood" just a few weeks ago, I thought that if there was one person who could remake this song, it would be Gerald Levert. Me and some of my intimates make a past-time out of lengthy discussion of what singers should cover others singer's songs, and what actors should play historical figures.

    But I digress.

    Gerald LevertTeena Marie, the blue-eyed soul diva who made legendary music with the late funkster in the 1980s ("Fire & Desire"), recognized Levert's power through song. That's why it came as no surprise for her to collaborate with him for her self-composed scorching ballad "A Rose By Any Other Name" in 2004 from her Cash Money Records debut opus, 'La Dona.' "I will deeply miss my friend, not just as a musical giant, but as a good man," the Santa Monica, California native shared. "My heart goes out to his family and simply put, '...a rose is a rose is a rose.'"

    Patti LaBelle, who sang with Levert on many occasions recently covered Luther Vandross

    His musical gift impacted more than just the R&B divas, but some of his younger male contemporaries in the music world.

    John Legend, who fuses soul and hip-hop in a way that will last years to come, said that "[the music world] truly lost one of our greatest voices much too soon," while hip-hop superstar Chris "Ludacris" BridgesCondolences may be sent to Andy Gibson, Trevel Productions Inc., 13816 Cedar Road, University Heights, OH 44118.

    His life and career will be publicly celebrated with a musical tribute that will be held on Nov. 17, 2006 at 12:00 noonat the Cleveland Music Hall (located at 500 Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland, OH).

    According to super publicist and brand strategist Patti Webster, who shared a close relationship with Levert over his 20-year career, R&B music veterans Stevie Wonder, Angela Winbush, Johnny Gill, Angie Stone are expected to pay tribute on a day that will also include a special duet performance from his father Eddie [Levert] and younger brother, Sean [Levert].

    At the time of his death, Levert was as busy as ever. According to Webster, he had just completed a highly successful tour of South Africa with his Dad, performing three sold-out concerts and spending time with the Mandela Family. His new album, set for release in February 2007, had just been completed.

    He was also adding the title of author to his many credits as he was putting the finishing touches on his first book, co-written with his father and best-selling author Lyah Beth LeFlore (who wrote this summer's enchanting 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life').

    Entitled 'I Got Your Back,' the father and son put their hearts and souls on the line and talk about their failures, concerns, fears, and triumphs as father and son. With a powerful message of reconciliation for broken families, the two explore the themes of fatherhood, male bonding and male-female relationships.

    On a final note, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin shared, "Gerald Levert was a challenging, dynamic, young performer who surely made his Dad and Family proud. He has moved on up a little higher now, and he's starring in the heavens now. And we'll understand it better, by and by. Stay strong."
    Amen, sister.

    The Cleveland Plain Dealer

    This was such a shock when I heard the news this past Friday. I truly did love me some Teddy Bear (Levert's nickname). I will cherish the toy teddy bear I got at one of his concerts. My sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, co-workers, neighbors, and church sisters have all been talking about him for the past week. He was such a special man and performer. I will really miss hearing him sing, but I am so blessed that I was able to see him perform live in person.

  • #2
    Re: GERALD LEVERT: In Memoriam

    Very sad. 40 is too young to die. Such a sad thing to lose someone special, no matter what their age, but 40 is too soon. Treasure your teddy bear always.


    • #3
      Re: GERALD LEVERT: In Memoriam

      Very very sad. So young. I feel bad for his family and of course him and his fans.


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