NEW YORK (AP) – Gerald Levert, the fiery singer of passionate R&B love songs and the son of O'Jays singer Eddie Levert, died on Friday. He was 40.
His label, Atlantic Records, confirmed that Levert died at his home in Cleveland, Ohio.
"All of us at Atlantic are shocked and deeply saddened by his untimely death. He was one of the greatest voices of our time, who sang with unmatched soulfulness and power, as well as a tremendously gifted composer and an accomplished producer," the statement read.
Levert first gained fame back in 1986, as a member of the R&B trio LeVert, which also included his brother, Sean. They quickly racked up hits like "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind," "Casanova," and "Baby I'm Ready."
But Gerald Levert's voice – powerful and soulful, almost a carbon-copy of his father's – was always the focal point, and in 1991, he made his solo debut with the album "Private Line," which included a hit duet with his dad, "Baby Hold on to Me."
Levert became known for his sensual, romantic songs, but unlike a Luther Vandross, whose voice and songs were more genteel, Levert's music was explosive and raw.
His most recent album was 2005's "Voices."
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press