Irish Grinstead of R&B Group 702 Dies at 43

Irish Grinstead, a founding member of R&B group 702, has died after a “long battle,” her sister and fellow bandmate LeMisha Grinstead announced Saturday. She was 43.

“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” LeMisha wrote on Instagram.

“She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace. That girl was as bright as the stars! She was not only beautiful on the outside, but also within. Sharing the stage with her was a joy I will cherish for the rest of my life! We, the family ask for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family,” she added.

[The image above shows L-R Irish Grinstead, Kameelah Williams, LeMisha Grinstead at the 2019 Black Music Honors in Atlanta]

LeMisha did not disclose a specific cause of death.

In a follow-up post on Sunday, she shared that she is “in disbelief” over her sister’s death.

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The group announced in December 2022 that Irish was “taking a medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues.”

702 got their name from the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The group was originally made up of four members, including the Grinstead sisters, Irish’s twin Orish and Amelia Childs. They changed members over the years, with Tiffany Villarreal and Cree La’More briefly joining the group. The most recent lineup included Irish and LeMisha Grinstead and Kameelah Williams.

702 released their debut album No Doubt in 1996, which sold more than 500,000 copies. The following year, they won a Soul Train Award for best R&B/soul album of the year – group, band or duo for No Doubt.

Their single “Steelo” from the album was used as the theme song on the 1990s Nickelodeon show Cousin Skeeter. In 1999, they released their second album titled 702, which featured the hit song “Where My Girls At.” They later recorded the single “Pootie Tangin” for the 2001 Chris Rock film Pootie Tang.

In 2021, Irish and LeMisha appeared on the music reality series BET Presents: The Encore, where they moved into a house with other female singers from the 1990s and 2000s in an attempt to form an R&B supergroup.

The show followed the women writing new music together and working on an album amid a string of disputes and “creative differences.” The cast also included Shamari DeVoe (Blaque), Nivea Nash, Fallon King (Cherish), Felisha King (Cherish), Pamela Long (Total), Aubrey O’Day (Danity Kane), and Kiely Williams (3LW).

Watch the video for “Where My Girls At” below:

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