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Eddie Levert

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Information about Eddie Levert

Profile image of Eddie Levert

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.$

Birthplace

Born:
6/16/1942
Birth Location:
Bessemer, Alabama

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Favorite Quote:
Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.$

Birthplace

Born:
6/16/1942
Birth Location:
Bessemer
See how Eddie Levert is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Singer, and member of the famed O’Jays, Edward “Eddie” Levert, was born June 16, 1942, in Bessemer, Alabama. When Levert was eight years old, he moved with his family to the town of Canton, Ohio, where he attended McKinley High School. At a young age, Levert and childhood friend Walter Williams began performing as a gospel duo. As teenagers, the two were inspired to form a singing group after seeing a performance by Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers. Levert and Williams brought together fellow students Bobby Massey, William Powell, and Billy Isles, to form their first group, The Triumphs.

In 1960, The Triumphs signed with Syd Nathan, owner of King Records, and the group was renamed The Mascots. The next year, The Mascots recorded their first single, “Miracles”, which was deemed a local success, and drew the attention of famed Cleveland disc jockey Eddie O’Jay. Because O’Jay was an essential in the group’s managing and mentoring, The Triumphs decided to change their name to The O’Jays, as a tribute. That same year, the O’Jays began working with producer H.B. Barnum and Little Star Records. Shortly after, The O’Jays signed with Imperial Records, and released their debut single, Lonely Drifter, with the released their first album, Comin’ Through following in 1965. After a rocky start- including the withdrawal of Billy Isle from the group– The O’Jays met Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Then a part of the production team at Neptune Records, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff went on to create their own label, Philadelphia International, after Neptune shut down in 1971, taking The O’Jays with them. Under the new label, The O’Jays recorded their first big hit, Back Stabbers (1972). While with Philadelphia International, The O’Jays recorded nearly thirty charting singles, and several number one songs. Back Stabbersreached number one on the R&B charts, and number three on the Billboard Top 100 chart. In 1973, The O’Jays released Love Train, and the single became a number one hit on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts. In 1975, co-founder William Powell was forced to leave The O’Jays due to illness, dying of cancer two years later. After Powell’s death, The O’Jays released their fifth album, Family Reunion, which reached number seven on the Billboard Top 200.

The O’Jays have received the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award (1998), and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. In 2005, they were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, BET awarded the group the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the group is still actively touring.

Eddie Levert is the father of three sons—Eddie Jr., Gerald, and Sean—all of whom are/were currently active in the music industry. In 2006, Gerald, an accomplished R&B singer, died at the age of 40. Two years later, son Sean, also an R&B artist, died at the age of 39. Eddie Jr. is currently the CEO of Levert Entertainment, a record label headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Eddie Levert was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 28, 2013.

See how Eddie Levert is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eddie Levert's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert talks about his relationship with his father, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert talks about his relationship with his father, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert describes his upbringing in Bessemer, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert talks about the importance of perseverance in the struggle
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert talks about his brothers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eddie Levert describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Eddie Levert describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Eddie Levert remembers his abusive stepfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert talks about his stepmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert remembers his transition into his father's household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert describes his community in Canton, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert remembers singing in church, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert remembers singing in church, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert recalls starring in 'The Ugly Duckling'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert describes the formation of The Triumphs
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert remembers auditioning for Decca Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert recalls signing a contract with King Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert recalls changing his band's name to The Mascots
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert remembers the influence of Eddie O'Jay
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert remembers working with H.B. Barnum
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert recalls lessons from The O'Jays' time on the West Coast
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert remembers the West Coast lifestyle
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert reflects upon the challenges faced by artists at Motown Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert recalls The O'Jays' decision to return to the East Coast
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert recalls the early years of his marriage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert remembers the birth of his children
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert remembers meeting Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert remembers reuniting The O'Jays in 1972
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert talks about the death of William Powell
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert talks about The O'Jays' repertoire
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert recalls the song selection process at Philadelphia International Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert describes The O'Jays' relationship with management, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert describes The O'Jays' relationship with management, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert remembers Cholly Atkins
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert remembers the pop star lifestyle
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert recalls his estrangement from his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert remembers helping Gerald Levert secure a record deal
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert reflects upon the impact of his decisions on his family
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert describes his strategy for success in the music industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert remembers The O'Jays' achievements
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert recalls The O'Jays' failed tour in 1977
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert remembers The O'Jays' comeback in the 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert talks about 'Family Reunion'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert talks about the production of The O'Jays' concerts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert describes the appeal of The O'Jays' music
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert talks about racial expletives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert talks about the rights to The O'Jays name
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert describes his relationship with Walter Williams
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert talks about his leadership style
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert remembers his fans
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his experiences of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert remembers his television appearances
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert talks about the intersection of class and race
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert shares his views on the importance of history
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his success as a musician
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert remembers his initial feelings about his sons' music career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert talks about the origin of the name LeVert
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert talks about his advice to his son, Gerald Levert
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert describes his relationship with his son, Gerald Levert
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert remembers touring with his son, Gerald Levert
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his son's legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert remembers the death of his son, Gerald Levert
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his time with his son, Gerald Levert
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his sons' suffering
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert talks about his faith
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Eddie Levert remembers meeting and marrying Raquel Capelton
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Eddie Levert remembers his recovery from a broken foot
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Eddie Levert talks about his family's response to his second marriage
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Eddie Levert describes his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Eddie Levert talks about the emergence of white R and B musicians
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Eddie Levert talks about authentic rhythm and blues music
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his career and plans for the future
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Eddie Levert reflects upon his legacy