Gerald Levert was born July 13, 1966 to Eddie Levert (The O’Jays) and Martha Levert in Canton, Ohio. His family moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio at which time Gerald started to travel with his father and The O’Jays regularly. In 1984, while in high school, he took his passion for music and joined forces with his good friend Marc Gordon and formed the R&B trio LeVert with his younger brother Sean Levert. The group went on to produce seven albums, five scoring gold/platinum success: “I Get Hot” (1985), “Bloodline” (1986), “The Big Throwdown” (1987), “Just Coolin” (1988), “Rope A Dope Style” (1990), “For Real Tho” (1993) “The Whole Scenario (1997). With memorable hits like “(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind”, “Casanova”, “My Forever Love”, “Just Coolin” (featuring Heavy D), “Baby I’m Ready” and “ABC-123″ In 1991 the Group hit again with “Livin For The City” and was featured in the hit movie “New Jack City.” He was also a part of LSG, an R&B supergroup comprising Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and Gerald.
In 1991, Gerald embarked on a solo career with the album, Private Line, which went to number one on the R&B charts. The following year, he and his father, hit number one on the R&B charts with the single, Baby Hold On to Me. Gerald went on to record a string of albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, which featured the hit singles, “Thinkin’ About It” (Pop #12) which was released September 1 1998, “Taking Everything” (Pop #11), “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. Gerald also sung 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”. Gerald released his tenth album entitled “Voices,” in 2005.
Gerald wrote, produced and worked with other notable artists which included the likes of Barry White, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker, Eugene Wilde, Teddy Pendergrass, James Ingram, Freddie Jackson, Chuckii Booker, The Winans, Troop and The O’Jays. In the early 1990s, he also helped launch the careers of three Cleveland-area R&B ensembles: The Rude Boys, Men at Large and 1 of the Girls. During the release of “Groove On,” Gerald appeared in the group “Black Men United” for the hit single “U Will Know” for the film Jason’s Lyric, the movie’s soundtrack. In 1997, he teamed up with fellow R&B singers Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill, to form the supergroup, LSG. The trio released the album Levert-Sweat-Gill the same year selling over two million copies; 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)”. Gerald performed a duet with Teena Marie on the latter’s 2004 album La Doña. His 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.” Gerald was posthumously featured on former groupmates Keith Sweat’s “Knew It All Along” and Johnny Gill from the singer’s “Til the Morning” album, which was released just two days after the fifth anniversary of Gerald’s death.
Gerald branched out into his acting career as Charles Young, his first appearance on The Jamie Foxx Show for 2 episodes with “Just Don’t Do It” where Jamie and his mother (Jo Marie Payton) decided to marry him. In January 2001, Gerald appears again in the series finale “Always and Forever” where 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 3 years prior to his death, LeVert’s final acting role that aired during his lifetime he also appeared on the episode of The Parkers, who plays T’s father (Ken Lawson) where he and his son comes to visit to start a new band.
On November 10, 2006, Gerald was found dead in his bed at his Newbury home when a cousin tried to wake him. Initial reports stated that Gerald had died of an apparent heart attack But in February 2007, an autopsy report conducted by the Cuyahoga County coroner’s office concluded that his 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, along with 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. Gerald was only 40 years old.
"Cassanova" by LeVert
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. 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 Gerald’s album of the same name. “I Got Your Back” explores Gerald and Eddie’s father/son relationship, the necessity of male bonding, and importance of repairing fractured families.
"Baby I'm Ready" by LeVert
"My Body" LSG [Live]
"Baby Hold On To Me" by Eddie & Gerald Levert
"In My Songs" Gerald Levert