Irish Grinstead, member of ‘90s R&B girl group 702, reportedly died on Saturday (September 16) at 43. The news was confirmed in an Instagram post by fellow 702 member, also Grinstead’s sister, LeMisha Grinstead, although the reason for Irish’s death was not confirmed. Last December, Irish departed the group to take a “medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues.”
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” LeMisha Grinstead wrote. “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 (sic) for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family.”
Also sharing a statement was fellow 702 member, Kameelah Williams.
Irish’s death comes 15 years after the passing of her twin sister, Orish, who died of kidney failure in 2008 at 27-years-old. Orish was also a former member of 702, also consisting of past member Amelia Childs. While Orish ultimately left 702 before the release of their debut album, she’d occasionally fill in for absent members. In 1995, Orish and Amelia were replaced with Kameelah Williams and Tiffany Villarreal, the latter who left six months later to pursue a solo career.
The final lineup consisted of Irish, LeMisha and Kameelah, who released their 1996 debut, No Doubt, which featured the Missy Elliott-assisted and co-produced “Steelo,” later remade as the theme song for Nickelodeon sitcom Cousin Skeeter.
702 went on to contribute to film and TV soundtracks like Good Burger, Stuart Little, Cousin Skeeter, and Pootie Tang, also releasing their final two albums 702 and Star in 1999 and 2003, respectively.
Check out additional tributes to Grinstead below.
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