logo
GettyImages
GettyImages

Eddie Levert on Moving on After Deaths of Sons Gerald & Sean Just 14 Months Apart

Aby Rivas
Jul 05, 2019
02:27 P.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

After losing two of his sons in less than two years, Eddie Levert’s life would never be the same. Dealing with his pain and eternal grief, the lead vocalist of the O’Jays opened up about his tragedy, and how he managed to move on through the mist after burying his boys.

Advertisement

Eddie Levert discovered his passion for music at a young age, and by the time he reached high school, he had teamed up with some classmates on his first ever musical group, The Triumphs, which eventually became the chart-selling the O’Jays.

Eddie Levert of The O'Jays performs in concert at State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park on August 10, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Photo: GettyImages

Eddie Levert of The O'Jays performs in concert at State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park on August 10, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Photo: GettyImages

Advertisement

So, when his two high schooler sons, Gerald and Sean, told Levert they wanted to follow his path in the music industry, he wasn’t surprised. They teamed up with friend Marc Gordon and formed the group LeVert, which released seven albums, four of which went platinum.

The brothers constantly joined their dad on tour, and they used to perform their songs together on stage.

TRAGEDY STRIKES, TWICE

But sadly, the group came to a halt in 2006, when Gerald died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at his home in Newbury Township. He was 40.

Gerald Levert arrives to the "First-Ever" BET Comedy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium September 28, 2004. | Photo: GettyImages

Gerald Levert arrives to the "First-Ever" BET Comedy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium September 28, 2004. | Photo: GettyImages

Advertisement

To avoid drowning in his grief, Eddie threw himself into work, ending the production and releasing a few posthumous projects that Gerald had recorded, including the Grammy Award-winning album “In My Songs” and a collection of duets between Levert and Gerald.

Then, tragedy struck the family once again 14 months later, when Sean passed away from a Xanax withdrawal at the Cuyahoga County Jail, where he was serving time for failing to pay child support. He was 39.

Sean Levert arrives at the 39th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 14, 2008. | Photo: GettyImages

Sean Levert arrives at the 39th NAACP Image Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on February 14, 2008. | Photo: GettyImages

Advertisement

Although devastated, Levert accepted his loss, but the what and whys still haunted his mind.

“If it wasn't supposed to be, it wouldn't have happened,” he told the Cleveland’s Plain Dealer a few years later. “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?”

A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

He believes maybe there was a lesson in his son’s deaths for him.

Advertisement

“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,” he reflected.

And continued:

“But I can’t dwell on it. It becomes very emotional for me. It gets to a place where… 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. And there was nothing I could do about it.”

Advertisement

FINDING SOLACE

A man of faith, Levert found solace on the bible and in his wife, Raquel Capelton.

“She’s been a rock for me, a real live crutch I can lean on,” Levert said of Raquel. “She helps keep me focused. She says that I still have a purpose here, that I still have things that I have to do.”

Levert doesn’t downplay his loss, but he’s grateful he had some things left in life, unlike others who lose everything.

Advertisement

“I read the Book of Job. He lost everything. I didn’t lose everything,” he said. “I lost two sons. It’s not trivial. But compared to somebody who lost their whole family do you understand? I was left something. God is still great.”

And added:

“I kept praying to God, and God kept giving me strength. I had days when I blubbered like a baby, just crying. I still have those moments. But I have a purpose now.”

Advertisement

NO REGRETS

Levert, now 77 and still touring around the world with the O’Jays, is proud of one thing: his boys knew he loved them, and he knows the feeling was mutual.

“Spend time with those kids,” Levert advises other parents. “At the end of the day, if something happens to them, you’re going to hurt. But you won’t have regret.”

“I’m still grieving,” he admitted. “I don’t think I’m ever going to get past that. I wake up some mornings, and I would love just to talk to them, to reach over and pick up the phone. The only thing I can tell you is that those boys knew that I loved them, ’cause I told them every day. And I knew they loved me.”

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Kids Call Bus Driver's Son 'Cheap', 10 Years Later They Barely Recognize Him at Class Reunion — Story of the Day

February 08, 2022

Widowed Mom Learns Her Son Escapes Home Every Night, He Returns One Day with Bag Full of Cash – Story of the Day

April 11, 2022

84-Year-Old Mom Announces She’s Moving to Nursing Home and Has to Sell House Her Kids Live In — Story of the Day

March 31, 2022

Young Man Who Never Knew His Parents Pushes Father Away, Learns about His Will Months Later – Story of the Day

March 10, 2022

Boy Who Lost Faith after Parents' Death Goes to Church for Help for the First Time in Years – Story of the Day

January 26, 2022

Stepson Mocked by Adoptive Parents & Their Children Finds Letters They Hid from Him – Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

After Estranged Mother's Death, Siblings Find Dusty Old Box In Parents' Closet – Story of the Day

January 24, 2022

Boy Hands Poor Widowed Mom a Box and Says, “Dad Told Me You Should Open This If We Need Help" – Story of the Day

March 23, 2022

Years after Artist’s Death, His Son Becomes Homeless and Finds His Painting in a Dumpster – Story of the Day

April 13, 2022

Postman Hears Loud Cry from Abandoned House and Rushes Inside — Story of the Day

April 28, 2022

4 Friends Promise to Meet in 40 Years, 3 Men Show Up and Find Note Saying, 'I'm Not Coming' – Story of the Day

January 31, 2022

Man Follows Wife Who Sneaks Out Every Night and Catches Her Visiting a Huge Mansion — Story of the Day

March 05, 2022

Twins Send Dad to Nursing Home, Learn He Left Inheritance to Janitor Who Is Their Carbon Copy – Story of the Day

February 13, 2022

Woman Meets Daughter’s Fiancé and Recognizes Nephew Who Disappeared 17 Years Ago – Story of the Day

February 28, 2022