Tragedy has struck R&B royalty with the sudden death of Sean Levert, son of O’Jays lead singer Eddie Levert, and member of the 1980’s chart-topping trio LeVert with late brother Gerald Levert. Sean became ill on Sunday evening while serving a 22-month sentence for failing to pay child support, and was rushed from Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County Jail to Lutheran Hospital where he died an hour later, according to the Associated Press.
Wardens at the jail who were monitoring Sean, 39, commented that he had been acting strangely. The Cleveland coroner’s office shared that Sean suffered from high blood pressure and began hallucinating while incarcerated. An autopsy was performed Monday morning but toxicology tests will take up to six weeks.
In 2006 Gerald Levert died of an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. His family and fans found comfort in his ESSENCE best-selling tome, I Got Your Back, coauthored with dad Eddie.
In June 2007 Eddie shared with ESSENCE how he was coping with the loss of his son and cherished duet partner. “I have moments when I feel very sad,” he said. “If it wasn’t for God and my belief, I could not have survived this. I believe I will see him again. That’s what keeps me sound and well-grounded.”
Sean and Gerald Levert along with friend Marc Gordon debuted in 1987 as the group LeVert, spawning such beloved hits as “Casanova” and “(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind.”
At the time of his death Sean was working on reviving LeVert with the addition of a new third member.