Is the bottom finally rushing up on D'Angelo?

Categories: Music
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Yahoo just posted the news three hours ago that R&B great D'Angelo, born Michael Eugene Archer, was in critical condition last Monday, Sept. 19, after an SUV accident outside his hometown of Richmond, Virginia (here's a photo of the vehicle). "Officials at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, where the Grammy-winning artist was flown after the wreck, said the family had asked that his condition not be released," reads the story. There are a few more details in the Richmond Times Dispatch, which reports that D'Angelo was still at the hospital on Friday, but that the other person in the car (police won't say who was driving) was released. A search of D'Angelo's Okayplayer site and its message board turns up little news. Without drawing conclusions, two things are certain: First, D'Angelo is a great recording and performing artist. Second, he has a serious problem. UPDATE ON TUESDAY: Email from Alan Leeds at Complicated Fun. ABC News: "D'Angelo ready to record after SUV crash." To recap the past few years...


Two weeks ago he was convicted of felony cocaine possession after pleading no contest, and was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended. In April, he was fined $250 and given a 90-day suspended sentence for driving under the influence (the source of his famous ODB-esque mugshot). His driver's license was also suspended. In 2003, he settled with a woman who claimed he cursed and spit on her during a November altercation at a Virginia gas station. He also pleaded no contest to obstruction of justice charges--police reportedly had to use pepper spray to subdue him.

This is a man who spun an ode to pudis into a love/sex metaphor on 1995's "Brown Sugar," still among the greatest modern singles. He also somehow equaled and surpassed Smokey Robinson in pacific soul with his cover of "Cruisin'," an ode to driving-as-love. The track and album for which he received Grammys in 2001, "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" and Voodoo, are among the coolest, most cool-headed works of rhythm and blues ever created. If this guy can't clear his head, who can? (Here's an MTV report...)


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