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Former 'American Idol' Contestant Dies in Car Crash with Husband
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2 Feb 2018 03:22 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Leah LaBelle and husband Rasual Butler (Image Source: Instagram)

Both the sports world and music world were shocked with the news of a car crash in California on Wednesday. The two killed were Leah LaBelle and her husband Rasual Butler, a former American Idol finalist and former NBA player.

LaBelle, 31, was a part of the third season of American Idol, along with other famous names like Jennifer Hudson and Fantasia, finishing in 12th place. She was later signed to a few different record deals, including one with Pharrell's label. She released two singles and a five-track sampler as a solo artist.

Butler, 38, started his NBA career with the Miami Heat and went on to play with New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and San Antonio Spurs. He made it to the playoffs six times in all.

Early Wednesday morning, Butler was behind the wheel of his Range Rover and lost control, where he hit several parking meters, then flipped the car before slamming into a wall. NBC Los Angeles reports he was speeding "two to three times" the legal speed limit.

The NBA tweeted the following statement regarding the couple's death: "The NBA family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle.

"A pro's pro, Rasual enjoyed a long, successful career and was widely respected by his peers and coaches. We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time."

Some of their well-known friends from music and basketball left condolences for them on social media:

"@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. [praying hands emoji]" – Pharrell

"Leah. Beautiful sister from another mister. You will NEVER EVER be forgotten. Your voice. Your spirit. Your light. Cannot comprehend what this loss means. Thinking about your unwavering faith in God brings me peace. I love you, forever angel." – JoJo

"Loved me some her @leahlabelle #heartbroken" – Nia Long

"Show the people you care about most the love they deserve. Life is short. My deepest condolences to @RasualButler45 @leahlabelle and their families. May God be with you." – Jake T. Austin

"Very sad to hear about my guy Rasual and his wife, Leah. Great people. Such a lost. [sic] Please pray for the family." – Ice Cube

"Rest In Peace my brother [praying hands emoji] #RasualButler" – Kobe Bryant

"I'm Terribly sorry to hear about the death of Rasual Butler and his wife. Thoughts & Prayers go out 2 his family and everyone affected by this terrible accident!" – Isaiah Thomas

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