Irish Grinstead, a member of R&B girl group 702, has died. She was 43.
Grinstead’s sister and fellow 702 member, LeMisha Grinstead, shared the sad news through Instagram on Saturday (Sept. 16).
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” the artist 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 for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family.”
A cause of death was not provided, but 702 announced in December 2022 that Irish Grinstead was taking a “medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues.”
The Las Vegas trio, which also included member Kameelah Williams, released their debut album, No Doubt, in 1996. The set featured a guest appearance by Missy Elliott on first single “Steelo.” Three years later, the group’s smash “Where My Girls At?” (co-written by Elliott) peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 702’s eponymous sophomore set, also released in 1999, peaked at No. 7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 34 on the Billboard 200.
702, named after the area code of their Las Vegas hometown, released their final album, Star, in 2003, and parted ways a few years later. The album featured production by the Neptunes and guest features by Clipse and Pharrell Williams.
Following the news of Grinstead’s death, Williams took to social media to share a heartwarming tribute.
“Devastated & heartbroken. I struggled with this post because to me this isn’t real,” she wrote on Instagram. “There’s a lot I want to say, but there’s no way to say what your heart hasn’t fully accepted. It’s hard to acknowledge this is even happening. I know you’re feeling better now and hugging your twin Orish which makes me smile cus I know how much you missed her. You & I have known each other since we were kids and we’ve laughed, cried, celebrated, and everything in between which is why I just don’t want to believe this.”
Elliott also remembered the singer in a touching post on X (formerly Twitter). “Irish May your beautiful soul Rest Peacefully in the arms of the Lord A Multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family,” she wrote.