Levert Biography

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, contemporary R&B band LeVert derived their name from the surname of brothers Sean (28 September 1968, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, d. 30 March 2008, Cleveland, Ohio, USA) and Gerald LeVert (b. 13 July 1966, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, d. 10 November 2006, Cleveland, Ohio, USA), the offspring of O’Jays founder Eddie LeVert. The predominantly vocal trio additionally included school friend Marc Gordon (b. 8 September 1964). Their 1985 debut album, I Get Hot, produced the US R&B hit ‘I’m Still’, but marketing at the small independent Tempre Records failed to satisfy their ambitions. A year later, they signed to Atlantic Records and struck number 1 in the US R&B charts with ‘(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind’, taken from Bloodline. The similarity of Gerald’s voice to that of his father’s was unmistakable, yet LeVert were undoubtedly a product of the 80s with their advanced production techniques and layered rhythms. The follow-up album, The Big Throwdown, went gold and yielded a R&B chart-topper with ‘Casanova’, with the single also reaching the pop Top 5. The non-album ‘Addicted To You’ also reached the top of the R&B charts, while 1988’s Just Coolin’, accompanied by a successful single of the same title, kept up the commercial momentum, although the style failed to match the impact of the group’s earlier work.

With Gerald freelancing as a producer for several other R&B acts, 1990’s Rope-A-Dope Style again achieved gold status, despite apparent creative stagnation, and yielded the group’s final R&B chart-topper, ‘Baby I’m Ready’. The group was put on temporary hold when Gerald announced the launch of a solo career in 1991, but he returned in time for 1993’s For Real Tho’, which featured the group’s last major hits, ‘ABC-123’ and ‘Good Ol’ Days’. With their lead singer’s busy schedule taking centre stage, it appeared for some time that LeVert’s absence would become permanent, until the release of the lacklustre The Whole Scenario in 1997. Gerald subsequently returned to his increasingly successful solo career and died in 2006 of a heart attack. His brother passed away in police custody two years later.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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