You may not die trying to help others but the effort may kill you. Gerald Levert worked so hard because he thought is was his job to help others. I was surprised to find the eerie similarities between Gerald Levert‘s death and Heavy D. Both had just come back from trips overseas, both were around the same age, both were carrying extra weight and both died of undiagnosed Pneumonia. It would seem that when a black man goes to the doctor and complains of breathing problems that would be an automatic hospital admittance, sans a battery of tests or opinions, observation would seem to be key but it was not in the case of Gerald Levert who died in 2006 in his sleep.
The story does not begin there and as his ex girlfriend singer Miki Howard states in the segment, Gerald would not be “Unsung” had he not died. He had a very successful career indeed until his untimely death. Gerald was determined even to a fault to do what many black singers tried desperately to do during their careers, cross over. It was where the real money, fame and prestige were and it appeared to be unattainable to Gerald who’s only foray into pop music was a Top 10 hit on the pop charts with Levert’s “Casonova” a song written by Reggie Calloway for the exact purpose it served to be a huge crossover hit. Nevertheless, it would not happen again for Gerald who worked incredibly hard on stage and gave it his all during each performance.
Gerald was blessed and cursed at the same time, he had great talent but his father, Eddie Levert, was from one of the biggest groups in the history of R&B, The O’Jays, and Gerald sounded EXACTLY like him. Fortunately for him, his entrance into the music industry was around the same time the O’Jays were gracefully making their exit and his father Eddie who helped get the group a deal later needed a return on the favor he had given his son. His own career was now in need of a boost. Hank Caldwell appears in the show and talks about how he was one of the very few label heads willing to sign the group. He states that he knew they would do well as did Sylvia Rhone, who also appears in the segment. I’ll leave some surprises for you to watch on the show. It airs August 2oth. Check local showtimes for listings on TV One.