01/02/2018 10:29 GMT

Leah Labelle Dead: Stars Pay Tribute To ‘American Idol’ Finalist And Husband Rasual Butler After Both Are Killed In Car Crash


Tributes have been pouring in for ‘American Idol’ finalist Leah Labelle and her husband, former NBA player Rasual Butler, after they were killed in a car crash in Los Angeles.

The LAPD confirmed Rasual, 38, was at the wheel of a Land Rover and travelling at speed when the vehicle came off the road, hit a curb and flipped over in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The couple were pronounced dead at the scene.

Bryan Steffy/BET via Getty Images

Leah, 31, found fame when she was a finalist on the 2004 series of ‘American Idol’. The then 16-year-old ended up finishing 12th in the competition.

She went on to sing background vocals for US singer Keri Hilson before being snapped up by Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri, who signed her to his I Am Other record label in 2011.

Pharrell was one of the first to pay tribute to Leah, when he shared a snap of them both on Instagram.

The ‘Happy’ singer captioned the picture: “@leahlabelle , your spirit was just as your voice; beautiful. ’Moments like these leave us with so many questions. What I don’t question is how much you loved God, how much you love your life partner and where you guys are now. Sing Sis, sing.”

Jennifer Hudson, who was a finalist on the same series as Leah, also paid tribute on Instagram, saying she was heartbroken.

“It broke my heart , when I heard the news! The world lost a shining star! My prayers and thoughts are with your family! Rest In Peace”.

A post shared by Jennifer Hudson (@iamjhud) on

Fantasia Taylor, who won the third series of ‘American Idol’ paid tribute to her ‘Idol family’ saying: “This just doesn’t seem right even saying right now but Rest In Peace Baby Girl @leahlabelle I will never forget you. Idol Family Forever”.

Tributes have also been paid to Leah’s husband Rasual, who played 13 seasons in the NBA from 2002 to 2016.

Chris Martin Palmer who plays for the LA Lakers wrote: “My heart is crushed upon hearing about the death of Rasual Butler. Had many great conversations with him. He died on a freeway two miles from my house at 2.30am while I was on Twitter talking about nothing”.​

Former NBA star Reggie Miller tweeted: “Saddened by the news and the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife Leah. Talk about a great dude and family man. I know he had many stops during his 13 year NBA journey, but he was beloved because of his work ethic in Indiana. New guardian Angels”.

Photo gallery RIP Celebs: Stars We Lost In 2018 See Gallery