American Idol Contestant Leah LaBelle, Husband Killed In Studio City Car Crash
American Idol contestant Leah LaBelle, and her husband, Rasual Butler, were pronounced dead on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The couple was killed in a single car crash in Studio City.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that Butler was at the wheel at the time of the accident. The former NBA player was traveling at a high rate of speed at around 2 a.m. After driving off the roadway, his vehicle collided with the curb at 2:25 a.m. Paramedics pronounced the couple dead at the scene.
Who Is Leah LaBelle?
LaBelle competed in American Idol season 3. She was born in Toronto, Ontario, but was raised in Seattle. Keri Hilson saw a video of LaBelle singing on her YouTube page in 2009, and the "Knock You Down" singer asked LaBelle to be her backup. She was later on signed to a record deal by Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri.
Some of LaBelle's songs include "Sexify" and "Lolita." The former was a massive hit in 2012, but the latter failed to rank in the music charts. Prior to releasing her debut album in 2013, LaBelle opened up about why she auditioned for American Idol.
"I did American Idol because I was in Seattle. I was young and just wanted to see what happened," said LaBelle.
The singer was not destined for immediate stardom at that time. She said that she still needed to finish high school in 2004 and had to wait for a few more years to release her own music.
Following her death, Williams paid tribute to the 31-year-old musician on social media. Fellow singer JoJo also remembered LaBelle and said that she will never be forgotten.
Who Is Rasual Butler?
Butler, on the other hand, played for 14 NBA teams including the Los Angeles Clippers. He worked as a professional basketball player for 13 years. In 2002, he was drafted by the Miami Heat, and he wrapped up his career in 2016 with the San Antonio Spurs. Butler was last seen on television in Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's now-debunked show Khloe & Lamar.
Some of Butler's friends in the sports industry also paid tribute to him following his death. Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wayde, Isaiah Thomas, and Paul Pierce only had nice things to say about Butler. The Fosters alum Jake T. Austin also expressed his condolences to LaBelle's and Butler's families.