R&B Group 702’s Irish Grinstead Dead at 43

Irish Grinstead, a founding member of the Las Vegas girl group 702, has died at the age of 43. Her sister and fellow 702 member LeMisha Grinstead shared the news on Instagram this weekend, Variety points out.

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“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. “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.”

No cause of death was shared. In December 2022, the group 702 announced that Irish would be “taking a medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues.”

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702 are best known for their 1999 hit “Where My Girls At?,” co-written and produced by Missy Elliott, which hit No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Irish Grinstead and her twin sister, Orish, formed 702 with LeMisha in the mid-1990s. Reportedly with help from comedian Sinbad, they gained visibility through a singing competition in Atlanta, where they got on the radar of Bell Biv DeVoe’s Michael Bivins.

702’s first album, No Doubt, dropped in 1996; when they followed that up in 1999 with their self-titled effort, songs like “Where My Girls At?” helped propel it to No. 34 on the Billboard 200 albums chart — and into the Top 10 of the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

One more album followed in 2003, Star, before the group split up to pursue solo ventures. Orish Grinstead died in 2008 of kidney failure at age 27.

News of Irish Grinstead’s death has found musical fans and collaborators offering tributes on social media. “Irish May your beautiful soul Rest Peacefully in the arms of the Lord. A Multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family #702,” Missy Elliott wrote on X.

Per Complex, Danity Kane member Aubrey O’Day shared thoughts on Instagram Stories as well: “Misha & Irish..Man, those were my fucking sisters. They protected me in ways no one did. Irish and I kept in touch long after.. and man could we converse about the ugly we had seen in this industry. I never had a sister from another girl group that understood me like her..my heart is absolutely broken.”

Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

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