Eddie Levert

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Eddie Levert

Eddie Levert (born June 16, 1942 in Bessemer) is the lead vocalist for the soul/funk/R&B vocal group, The O'Jays.

Though born in Bessemer, Levert was raised in Canton, Ohio. He and four fellow students at Canton McKinley High School formed "The Triumphs" in 1958. Five years later they changed their name to "The O'Jays", honoring disc jockey Eddie O'Jay. Their single "Lonely Drifter", from the Imperial Records release Comin' Through, reached #93 on the Billboard Hot 100. Their cover of Allen Toussaint's "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)", from the same album, reached #28 on Billboard's Hot R&B Sides.

In 1966 and 1967 the O'Jays scored hits with "Stand In For Love" and "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)", which reached #12 and #8 on the R&B charts for the Minit and Bell labels, respectively. Other minor hits followed, with 1970's "Deeper (In Love With You)" and "Looky Looky (Look at Me Girl)" on Neptune Records as the group's last singles to chart before music producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff took an interest in them and signed the group with their Philadelphia International Records.

Levert performing at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010


The O'Jays released 14 full-length albums on Philadelphia International between 1972 and 1987. Four of them, Ship Ahoy (1973), Survival (1975), Family Reunion (1975) and So Full of Love (1978) topped the R&B album charts and reached platinum-selling status. The single "Love Train", released in 1973, reached #1 on both the R&B and pop charts. Other Top 10 pop hits included "Back Stabbers" (1972), "Put Your Hands Together" (1973), "For the Love of Money" (1974), "I Love Music (Part I)" (1975) and "Use ta Be My Girl" (1978). "I Love Music (Part I)" also reached #1 on the "Disco Action" chart and #13 in the UK.

The O'Jays left Philadelphia International and signed with EMI Records in 1989. Their three albums for EMI, Serious (1989), Emotionally Yours (1991), and Heartbreaker (1993) all reached the top 10 on the R&B chart, with Emotionally Yours reaching gold status. "Have You Had Your Love Today" from Serious was the only single to reach #1 on the R&B chart. The group put out three more albums after leaving EMI, with modest success. The single "What's Stopping You", on the Volcano Records release Love You To Tears" peaked at #21 on the R&B charts and at #73 on the pop charts.

Levert performed with fellow O'Jays Walter Williams and Eric Grant in the 2003 feature film The Fighting Temptations. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and were given a Lifetime Achievement Award from Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2009. Levert was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

Levert is the father of R&B singer Gerald Levert (1966–2006) and Sean Levert (1968–2008). Another son, Eddie Jr, heads the Levert Entertainment Group in Los Angeles, California.


  • Colurso, Mary (January 22, 2010) "Alabama Music Hall of Fame to induct Blind Boys, Eddie Levert, five others." Birmingham News
  • "The O'Jays" (March 10, 2010). Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia - accessed March 29, 2010