Music Sheet: Levert Sings More Than Just In Praise of Women
   
 



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By
Laurence Washington

During the mid-‘80s and ‘90s, Gerald Levert produced and wrote more than 15 No. 1 R&B hits. The 36-year-old Grammy nominee and architect of the Cleveland-based trio, Levert has sold more than 6 million albums, including seven Levert releases and four solo albums plus numerous television and film appearances from cable’s Soul Food to New Jack City with Wesley Snipes — during his 17-year musical career.

Levert’s smooth, sensual ballads, which carry a hint of hip-hop and rap, are filling concert halls around the country. Visit Gerald Levert.com for Levert’s current concert schedule.

"We're going to rock the house," says Levert, whose dad is Eddie Levert, founder of the R&B group the O'Jays. "R&B is coming back around."

The singer’s record collection is chock-full of ‘60s R&B icons like the Spinners, Ohio Players, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, and, of course, the O'Jays.

"Back in the day," concert promoters would mix rap and R&B acts together because R&B couldn't attract the same crowds it did in the 1970s, Levert says.

"I thought that was terrible," he says. "I think today’s young people are starting to gravitate toward R&B again."

Levert believes the roots of R&B were cut off to the younger generation when many urban schools cut back on their music programs 10 to 15 years ago. Kids wanted to learn R&B music, but the only way they could was through sampling - which is easier than learning how to play R&B, Levert says.

"When they stopped those programs, it hindered the young people's learning. But today you have the D’ Angelos and the Maxwells, who are coming out and doing the ‘real’ music."

Levert adds that the resurgence of adult contemporary stations across the country has helped young listeners discover the roots of R&B.

"I think the people are going to want to learn more about it," Levert says. "I used to be very conscious about making songs that girls like. They were always, ‘the girl looked beautiful,’ and ‘I love you till death do us part.’ Songs that said, ‘everything is great.’ But as you mature, you start seeing the different changes that love takes you through. And your songs become more than just a praise to women."

Levert says he’s now able to express himself more clearly through his lyrics.

"There’s a lot of different emotions expressed on this record," Levert says. "I think a lot of men will relate to it. I used to write songs where everything was so peachy. But life's not like that. When love is good, it's good. When it’s bad, it’s bad."

Visit www.geraldlevert.com to check out Levert tour dates.

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