After Eddie Levert's 2 Sons Died, He Once Revealed His Regrets & How He Copes with Their Deaths
Eddie Levert lost two grown sons within the space of 16 months and once opened up about his regrets and what gives him the much-needed encouragement.
The legendary “O’Jays” singer knows what it means to be overwhelmed by tragedy.
Eddie lost his first son, Gerald, in November 2006. The rising singer died as a result of an accidental overdose of prescription and over-the-counter meds and was just 40.
No doubt, Eddie loved his son and was even prouder because Gerald and his brother, Sean, were following in his musical footsteps and doing well at it.
According to The Plain Dealer, the legend threw himself into work to deal with Gerald’s death, but a year and four months later, tragedy struck again when Sean passed away.
“That really destroyed him,” said Walter Williams, Eddie’s friend/co-founder of O’Jays.
Sean died after suffering withdrawal from his anti-anxiety medicine Xanax while in police custody for non-payment of child support.
Eddie opened up to The Plain Dealer in 2011 about how the tragedies have affected him:
“If it wasn’t supposed to be, it wouldn’t have happened. I wish I could tell you that I had a sense of why, but I don’t. I still wonder: Was it something I did? Maybe that’s why I’ve made so many changes in my life, to better myself and try to be a better father, a better husband, a better friend. Maybe that’s the reason why: for me to come to a better place.”
A FATHER'S REGRET
“But I can’t dwell on it,” he added, getting emotional during the interview. “I really miss them. It’s just hard. But I can’t get caught up in the fact that it wasn’t supposed to be like this, because it happened.”
On his regrets, Eddie reportedly said he’s often wondered if his mistakes as a father did not have anything to do with his sons’ deaths.
“When Gerald and Sean passed away, I wanted to really blame myself because I felt like it was some things I could’ve kept them from seeing that I did in my life, as a father,” he mused.
HANGING ONTO MEMORIES
Now, with the boys gone, Eddie revealed he finds solace in “God’s strength" and the music memories he shares with them.
“The music has always been healing. With Gerald and Sean, the times we had together onstage are some of the greatest moments of my life, man. The times that I was onstage with them doing ‘Casanova’ or ‘Baby Hold on to Me’ or ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ – to me, those are priceless.”
“Even now, when I go and perform those songs by myself, they’re medicine,” he finished.
Following the death of Gerald, Eddie released several of his late son’s unfinished projects, including the Grammy Award-winning album “In My Songs” and some duets they created together.
Eddie shared his late sons with his ex-wife Martha. The singer has been married to his current wife, Raquel, since 2005, and they have one daughter, Ryan.