Irish Grinstead, a member of the ’90s and ’00s R&B girl band 702, died on Saturday (September 17) the age of 43.
Grinstead’s sister and fellow bandmember LeMisha Grinstead confirmed the news of her death in a statement on social media, citing a “long battle” of ill health.
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” LeMisha’s statement read.
“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.”
702 had a hit in 1999 with ‘Where My Girls At’, which was the first single off their second album ‘702’. Missy Elliott wrote and co-produced the song, revealing that she’d originally intended it for TLC. “I wanted it to be a Main chick anthem 4 the side chicks,” she wrote, adding, “it’s still a BOP”.
This song I wrote called #WhereMyGirlsAt for the group #702 I produced with my boys Eric & Rapture. I actually originally wrote this for the group TLC but that didn’t happen so I said #702 will Kill this. I wanted it to be a Main chick anthem 4 the side chicks it’s still a BOP🔥 pic.twitter.com/BdEqarj1tU
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) February 25, 2018
Their debut album ‘No Doubt’ arrived three years earlier in 1996. It included the single ‘Get It Together’ and the Missy Elliott-featuring track ‘Steelo’.
702’s final album ‘Star’ wad released in 2003 with assistance from The Neptunes, Clipse, and Pharrell. The group disbanded after the album but periodically reunited.
In late 2022, Irish Grinstead took a leave of absence from 702 for undisclosed health reasons.
Fans and artists have paid tribute to the late star. Missy Elliott wrote on Twitter: “Irish May your beautiful soul Rest Peacefully in the arms of the Lord🕊️ A Multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family🙏🏾🕊️💔#702”.
Irish May your beautiful soul Rest Peacefully in the arms of the Lord🕊️ A Multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family🙏🏾🕊️💔#702 pic.twitter.com/Vfqbwfzxqj
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) September 17, 2023
Sleep in Heavenly Peace Irish Grinstead. #702 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/G7KnCvKJef
— I AM The Visuals Baby! (@PHocal_Point2) September 17, 2023
RIP to Irish Grinstead of 702. She passed away at 43. 🕊️👑 pic.twitter.com/JFNHif1oUu
— 247 Live Culture (@247LC) September 17, 2023
rest easy irish grinstead from 702. you were a beauty. 🌹 pic.twitter.com/kIV5uvMEqW
— khalia. | the black lizzie mcguire.🫐🩰 (@VERONASFILMS) September 17, 2023
— ThisisRnB.com (@ThisIsRnB) September 17, 2023
Rest in Peace Irish Grinstead. 💔 #702 #1997 pic.twitter.com/xKdruHkbDB
— Les Femmes Vintage (@lesfemmesvtg) September 17, 2023
RIP Irish Grinstead. Very sad news. 702 forever. 💔🕊️ pic.twitter.com/NVK4fLMHFo
— Jermaine (@JermaineWatkins) September 17, 2023