Leah LaBelle, an R&B singer and American Idol alum is the talented wife of former NBA player, Rasual Butler who played with the Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs. The couple was 31 and 38-years-old respectively when they died on January 31, 2018 following a single-vehicle accident in California.
Reports say, the couple was traveling near Studio City, California with Butler behind the wheel and he is said to have been speeding at the time of the fatal accident. He hit several parking meters before flipping and later slamming his vehicle into a wall.
Tributes have been pouring from the NBA community. Drafted in 2002 by the Miami Heat, Butler –a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native born May 23, 1979 –played for eight NBA franchises during his 13-season career with his longest stint occurring in New Orleans from 2005-09.
Butler played his final regular season action with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2015-16 season. He retired with career averages of 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 21.3 minutes.
Rasual was pronounced dead at the scene and so was his wife, Leah LaBelle.
LaBelle was born Leah LaBelle Vladowski on September 8, 1986. She is of Bulgarian descent and was raised as the only daughter of Troshan and Anastasia Vladowski in Washington.
She became interested in music at an early age and began performing in public as a child. Following her high school graduation, she attended performing arts school, Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Canadian born singer is perhaps best remembered for her participation on the third season of American Idol. Leah who grew up in Seattle, auditioned in front of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson back in 2004. She eventually place twelfth in the show’s third season.
She also provided backing vocals for Keri Hilson’s son Energy –with Hilson ultimately inviting her to tour with her and Robin Thicke. She was also a background vocalist for Jordin Sparks, the Jonas Brothers and Eric Benet. Leah would release her debut single, Sexify in 2012.
She had over 40K followers on Instagram. Our Condolences.