Grammy Award-winning R&B crooner D’Angelo was seriously injured last week in an automobile accident along Route 711, a heavily trafficked highway in the singer’s native Virginia.
D’Angelo, born Michael Eugene Archer, was transported by helicopter to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in nearby Richmond, according to Sergeant Kevin Barrick, a Virginia State Police spokesperson. While Barrick said Monday morning that D’Angelo was still being treated for his injuries and still in critical condition, his attorney and business advisor, L. Londell McMillan, said he’d been released on Friday.
“He’s home and bugging us about getting back in the studio,” McMillan said Monday. “He’s fine. He had some bumps and bruises; he bruised a couple of ribs. But he’s fine — he’s cool. The cops got it wrong. He’s home. He’s playing his instruments and wants to record. This is an unbelievable business, man.”
The single-car crash happened the evening of September 19, just before 8 p.m. Barrick said that D’Angelo’s 2003 Hummer, headed east on Route 711 in Virginia’s Powhatan County, ran off the road and slammed into a fence before overturning.
D’Angelo, one of the founding fathers of the neo-soul movement of the 1990s and perhaps best known for his steamy track and video “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. Another person inside the Hummer, Lynne Sellers, also sustained significant injuries. She was taken by ambulance to VCU Medical Center, where she was treated and released, according to Barrick.
Police would not provide additional information on the accident, as it’s still under investigation. It’s not clear whether D’Angelo or Sellers was driving the SUV at the time of the crash.
D’Angelo’s criminal attorney, Ned Mikula, wouldn’t provide specifics on the singer’s condition or his injuries, but did say he has met with D’Angelo’s family at the hospital. “They’re praying and hoping for the best,” Mikula said. “Knowing his strong constitution, I know he’ll pull through. All I can say is his family’s cautiously optimistic that he will survive and fully recover.”
The accident occurred one week after D’Angelo stood before a Chesterfield Circuit Court judge and pleaded no contest to one count of felony cocaine possession; the 31-year-old singer was given a three-year suspended sentence, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. D’Angelo was arrested back in January outside Richmond on drunk-driving and drug-possession charges (see “Singer D’Angelo Arrested On Charges Of Drunk Driving, Drug Possession” ) when, during a routine traffic stop, police discovered marijuana and cocaine inside his vehicle.
In April, D’Angelo, who hasn’t released an album in more than five years, pleaded guilty in Virginia District Court to charges of marijuana possession and driving under the influence of alcohol (see “D’Angelo Pleads Guilty To Charges Of DUI, Drug Possession” ) — charges stemming from that same arrest earlier this year. He was fined $250 and given a 90-day suspended jail term for the DUI conviction; his driver’s license was also suspended for one year. He was also arrested in 2002 for reckless driving (see “D’Angelo Resists Arrest On Charges Of Assault, Aggressive Driving” ).
[This story was originally published at 7:37 a.m. ET on 09.26.2005]