702 Singer Irish Grinstead Dead at 43

Irish Grinstead, the vocalist whose career took off as part of the popular R&B group 702, has died at the age of 43, her sister confirmed in a heartbreaking message.

By Kisha Forde Sep 18, 2023 12:19 PMTags
Watch: In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2023

The music world is mourning the loss of a star.

Irish Grinstead, the singer who alongside her band members formed the popular ‘90s R&B group 702, has died at the age of 43. Irish's older sister and bandmate LeMisha confirmed her passing on 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," LeMisha wrote in a message shared to Instagram. "She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace."

LeMisha went on to note that her sister "was as bright as the stars."

"She was not only beautiful on the outside, but also within," the singer wrote. "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."

In another post, LeMisha shared she remains "in disbelief."

Though details on her cause of death are unknown, Irish's passing comes nine months after the group announced she would be taking a step back from the band amid a health battle.

Celebrity Deaths: 2023's Fallen Stars

"We regret to inform you that at this time Irish Grinstead will be taking a medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues," a post shared to Instagram last December read. "It is our hope that she will have a healthy and speedy recovery in the months to come."

After releasing their debut album No Doubt in 1996, 702 would release a few hit singles including "Where My Girls At?" before disbanding in the early aughts.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In addition to Irish and LeMisha, the R&B girl group—named after the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas—featured members Kameelah Williams and Irish's twin sister Orish (who departed shortly before their debut album). Orish died in 2008 from kidney failure at the age of 27.

Shortly after Irish's passing, Kameelah also paid tribute to her bandmate, noting that she was "devastated and heartbroken."

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

"I struggled with this post because to me this isn't real," Kameelah 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."

Kameelah added, "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. You'll always be my ‘IBG' & I still love you my forever lil sis!!! Rest easy Irish."

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