2019 American Music Awards

Leah LaBelle Mourned by Pharrell, JoJo, Fantasia & More After Fatal Car Crash With Husband Rasual Butler

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
Rasual Butler and Leah LaBelle pose for photos on the red carpet at the NBA Awards Show on June 26, 2017.

Celebrities and fans alike took to Twitter on Wednesday (Jan. 31) to mourn the loss of R&B singer and American Idol alum Leah LaBelle and her husband, ex-NBA star Rasual Butler. The couple were killed early Wednesday in a single-car accident in Studio City, California.

LaBelle appeared on season 3 of Idol, alongside Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia, back in 2004 and was later signed to Epic Records, in a joint deal between Jermaine Dupri's So So Def Records and Pharrell's I Am Other label. Butler played on several NBA teams during his 13-year career, including the Los Angeles Clippers, the San Antonio Spurs and the Chicago Bulls. 

LaBelle charted two songs on Billboard's charts: "Sexify," which reached No. 89 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 23 on the Adult R&B Songs airplay charts in 2012, and "Lolita," which peaked at No. 7 on Dance Club Songs

See some of the reactions below, including from LaBelle's former label head Pharrell, onetime tourmate JoJo and fellow Idol season 3 contestant (and eventual winner) Fantasia.


@leahlabelle RIP Angel -- I’m sitting here STUCK LIKE NOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYY!!!

A post shared by Fantasia Taylor (@tasiasword) on


Members of the NBA community also voiced their condolences on Twitter.



I'm in disbelief as I got the call today that you are no longer with us. My 1st reaction was how will your mom get through this. You two were sooooo close and meant everything to each other. The conversation you, your mother and I had at dinner that night made me feel like you were repaired and ready to dive back into this madness we call the music business. I was hoping that the world would finally get to see what I saw in you. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to experience your gift up close and personal. Hopefully I can find the strength and mental clarity to release the magic that we created that weekend in NY. God gave us an angel even if for only a moment. Some of us got a chance to experience some amazing vocals that came from the soul and a beautiful person with an amazing spirit. Will always remember how special you were. R.I.P. Leah. #LeahLabelle #AmericanIdol #Hervoice #Hergift #singer #AndreaoFanaticHeard

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