Former American Idol contestant Leah LaBelle and ex-NBA player Rasual Butler died in a car crash early morning on Wednesday, Jan. 31
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that the accident took place in the Studio city neighborhood of Los Angeles at approximately 2:30 a.m.
According to authorities, Butler was behind the wheel of the Land Rover and was travelling at speeds two to three times higher than the limit when he lost control of the vehicle.
The car drove off the roadway, hit the curb, hit several objects and flipped over two times before coming to a halt in a parking lot of a shopping centre. Butler, 38, and LaBelle, 31, were both declared dead at the scene of the crash.
LaBelle was a contestant on Season 3 of American Idol and finished 12th in the singing competition. Fans of the series may remember LaBelle's first audition on the show in 2004 in front of the judging panel, which comprised of Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul. Check out the video below:
After her stint on American Idol, she went on successful career as a singer and signed as an artist with Epic Records. She sang the hit R&B ballad, "Sexify," which was released as part of the sampler album, Pharrell Williams and Jermaine Dupri Present Leah LaBelle, in 2012.
Fantasia Barrino, who was crowned the winner of American Idol Season 3, also took to social media to mourn LaBelle's demise:
— Fantasia (@TasiasWord) January 31, 2018
Butler was a former NBA player who played for a total of 14 teams including the Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls. He was drafted by Miami Heat in 2002 and ended his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2016.
"The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," the NBA said in a statement on Twitter. "We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time." Miami Heat also paid tribute to the former athlete on the micro-blogging platform:
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed. pic.twitter.com/djezmpHd5h — Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 31, 2018