Former NBA Star Rasual Butler & Wife R&B Singer Leah LaBelle Killed in Car Crash
On Wednesday (Jan. 31), NBA journeyman Rasual Butler and his wife, R&B singer Leah LaBelle, were killed in a fatal car crash in Studio City, California, TMZ reports. Butler was 38; LaBelle was 31.
According to police, at approximately 2:30 a.m. PT, Butler reportedly lost control of his Range Rover and hit several parking meters before flipping and later slamming his vehicle into a wall. In the reports from NBC Los Angeles, Butler was speeding "two to three times" the limit. Billboard reached out to the L.A. coroners office to confirm reports.
Butler played 13 seasons in the NBA, including stops with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and more. The NBA tweeted a statement about his death:
The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle.— NBA (@NBA) January 31, 2018
A pro's pro, Rasual enjoyed a long, successful career and was widely respected by his peers and coaches. We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/zNH93MVvpM
LaBelle was an R&B singer who signed to Epic Records/So So Def Recordings after appearing on the third season of American Idol in 2004. In 2012, She released a five-track sampler, which included production from Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri. The lead single "Sexify" received a video treatment and featured cameos from Williams, Dupri and singer JoJo, who tweeted about the news.
Leah. beautiful sister from another mister. You will NEVER EVER be forgotten. Your voice. Your spirit. Your light. Cannot comprehend what this loss means. Thinking about your unwavering faith in God brings me peace. I love you, forever angel. pic.twitter.com/ZqmNeHfuAb— JoJo. (@iamjojo) January 31, 2018
Billboard reached out to Epic Records and Jermaine Dupri's reps for comment.