Irish Grinstead, singer and member of R&B girl group 702, has died. He was 43 years old.
The vocalist died Saturday evening, according to an Instagram post by his sister and fellow group member Lemisha Grinstead. No cause of death was given, but 702 announced in December that Irish Grinstead was taking a “leave of absence” from performing “due to serious medical issues”.
Two other members of 702, Lemisha Grinstead and Kamelah Williams, took to social media to mourn the loss of their beloved bandmates.
“He’s fought a long battle and he’s finally at peace,” wrote Lemisha Grinstead.
“The girl was bright as a star! She was beautiful not only outside but also inside. Sharing the stage with him was a joy that I will cherish for the rest of my life! We, the family, ask for prayers and respect for our privacy as we mourn our family’s tremendous loss.”
A “devastated and heartbroken” Williams reacted to the news on Saturday.
“There’s so much I want to say, but there’s no way to say what your heart hasn’t fully received,” Williams wrote on Instagram.
“It’s hard to accept that this is even happening. … You and I have known each other since childhood and we’ve laughed, cried, celebrated and everything in between … I still love you forever my lil sister!!!”
According to Rolling Stone, Williams’ tribute also mentioned Irish Grinstead’s late twin sister Orish Grinstead, who died of kidney failure in 2008 after a battle with cancer. He was 27 years old.
“I know you’re feeling better now and holding your twin, Orish, which makes me smile,” Williams said, “I know how much you miss him.”
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Irish Grinstead and 702 were best known for songs such as “Get It Together”, “Stilo” and “Where My Girls At”. The trio’s debut album, “No Doubt,” was released in 1996, followed by two more records in 1999 and 2003.
During their initial rise to fame, the group collaborated with Missy Elliott and The Neptunes. 702 — which is the area code of the musicians’ hometown, Las Vegas — disbanded in the mid-2000s, according to Rolling Stone, but reunited in recent years to perform at various events.