Singer Leah LaBelle and Husband Rasual Butler Killed in Car Crash

R&B singer Leah LaBelle and her husband Rasual Butler (ex-NBA player) have died. The two lovers were killed in a single car crash on Wednesday morning.

According to Los Angeles police, at around 2:30 a.m., the vehicle lost control, hit three parking meters and a retaining wall and landed in the parking lot of a strip mall.

Producer Bryan-Michael Cox posted a heartfelt letter on Instagram. “ELLE. Literally just talked to you on Saturday before I hopped on the plane to NYC for the Grammys,” he wrote. “This is unbelievable. I remember when @pharrell played @jermainedupri and I that youtube clip of you singing, we all were like ‘we have to find this girl!'”

He continued, “We reached out via your YouTube page and you hit back and that was the beginning of our friendship. You were someone that I always believed in. this is a harsh reminder that we don’t control the time we have here so we must make the most out of every moment. Sending my condolences to your family, especially your mother. we lost a very special person this morning and the heavens gained an angel. rest well, @leahlabelle.”

Fellow singer JoJo also reacted to the sad news. “I cannot accept that the two of you are gone,” she wrote. “Leah, you are my sister. I love you. and I feel so fortunate that you were in my life. Sing with the angels in heaven. You were an angel on earth.”

LaBelle, who placed 12th on season three of American Idol, was signed to Epic Records where she released catchy tunes like “Sexify” (2012) and “Lolita” (2013).

That SMILE. That VOICE. That inside-out GLOW. My @leahlabelle . My sister. Woke up this morning and heard you were gone. This can’t be real. I just replayed the voice note you sent me on my birthday. Please someone assure me this is not real. And that we are still gonna meet up and sing and harmonize and encourage each other and laugh out asses off real soon. LEAH You have the light of GOD inside you. Everyone you touched was blessed by your presence. PURE. You were GENUINE. The REAL THING. Can’t believe I’m writing about you in the past tense!!!!! And you and @rasualbutler8 ‘s relationship was SUCH A BEAUTIFUL LOVE TO WITNESS AND FEEL. Best friends, believers, partners. A love that survived so much. We want and need more from you both. I cannot accept that the two of you are gone. Leah, you are my sister. I love you. and I feel so fortunate that you were in my life. Sing with the angels in heaven. You were an angel on earth.

A post shared by JoJo. (@iamjojo) on

Keithan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Rated R&B

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Janine Announces Release Date for Debut Album ’99’, Shares ‘Too Late’ Video

Emerging artist Janine has announced her debut album, 99, will release on May 25 via Atlantic Records. The singer revealed the exciting news on Twitter.

“Ohh and I have an announcement to make… GUESS WHAT?! MY ALBUM “99” COMES OUT EVERYWHERE NEXT MONTH ON MAY 25TH!,” she shared.

Janine recently wrapped up her first headlining tour Before It’s Too Late. “This tour has been the most incredible ride & I can’t wait to get back out on the road. Thank you for making this the best time of my life,” she said on social media.

She also released an accompanying visual for her latest single “Too Late,” which she shot in London. The song is expected to appear on 99. Previously released songs “Never the Right Time” and “Unstable” could appear on the debut LP as well, but we won’t know until she shares the official track list.

Jorja Smith Announces Debut Album ‘Lost & Found’

It’s about time. After several major features with hip-hop biggest stars (Drake, Kendrick Lamar), rising singer Jorja Smith has announced her debut album, Lost & Found, will arrive on June 8.

Smith will enjoy the spotlight alone on Lost & Found as there are no features on the project, which includes “Teenage Fantasy” and “Blue Lights.” She performed the latter song along with “On My Mind” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week.

Lost & Found Track List
1. “Lost & Found”
2. “Teenage Fantasy”
3. “Where Did I Go?”
4. “February 3rd”
5. “On Your Own”
6. “The One”
7. “Wandering Romance”
8. “Blue Lights”
9. “Lifeboats (Freestyle)”
10. “Goodbyes”
11. “Tomorrow”
12. “Don’t Watch Me Cry”

Pre-order Smith’s Lost & Found today.

 

Erykah Badu, Miguel and The Roots to Headline Smokin’ Grooves Festival

The performance lineup for the Smokin’ Grooves Festival has been announced. Erykah Badu, Miguel and The Roots are set to headline the event, which takes plance on June 16 at The Queen Mary in Long Beach.

Other artists on the bill include Jhene Aiko, NxWorries (Anderson Paak + Knxwledge), H.E.R., Majid Jordan, dvsn, Tiara Thomas, Lion Babe, Arin Ray, Ravyn Lenae, Omarion and THEY, to name a few.

While Badu doesn’t have a new project out, fans will be expecting to hear her classic records. Miguel and Jhené Aiko will promote their latest albums. The latter artist released her  sophomore album Trip last September, while Miguel delivered his third album, War & Leisure, in December.

Tickets are on sale now at smokingroovesfest.com.

See the complete Smokin’ Grooves lineup below.

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