Accidental drug mix killed R&B singer Levert

Published: Feb. 11, 2007 at 12:27 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 15, 2007 at 9:15 PM CST
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CLEVELAND (AP) - R&B singer Gerald Levert's death last fall was an accident caused by a fatal combination of prescription narcotics and over-the-counter drugs, a coroner said.

The drugs in his bloodstream included the narcotic pain relievers Vicodin, Percocet and Darvocet, along with anxiety medication Xanax and two over-the-counter antihistamines, Geauga County Coroner Kevin Chartrand said.

The official cause of death was acute intoxication, and the death was ruled accidental.

Chartrand said his office received a report Thursday from the Cuyahoga County coroner's office, which conducted the autopsy.

Levert, 40, son of O'Jays singer Eddie Levert, died Nov. 10 in his suburban Cleveland home.

He was a member of the R&B trio LeVert, whose hits included "(Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop) Goes My Mind" and "Casanova." He sold millions of albums and had numerous hits over his career.

His soulful voice powered his appeal and in 1991 he made his solo debut with the album "Private Line." That included a hit duet with his dad, "Baby Hold on to Me."

Andy Gibson, a family spokesman, said Levert was taking the pain medication because of chronic pain from a lingering shoulder problem and surgery in 2005 to repair a severed Achilles tendon.

The autopsy revealed that Levert had pneumonia.

Levert also took Xanax for anxiety attacks, Gibson said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)