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R&B group 702 (Kameelah Williams, Misha Grinstead and Irish Grinstead) attends the First Annual Teen Choice Awards on August 1, 1999, at the Barker Hangar, Santa Monica Air Center in Santa Monica, California. | Source: Ron Galella / Getty

Irish Grinstead, who rose to prominence in the late 1990s as one-third of the award-winning R&B trio 702, has died, according to her sister. The announcement was posted on Instagram and reported that the singer died on Saturday following a “long battle.” She was 43.

“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” LeMisha Grinstead, who is a current member of 702, wrote in an Instagram post late Saturday night. “She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace.”

LeMisha Grinstead eulogized her “beautiful” sister and group mate.

“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,” LeMisha wrote.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but 702 announced late last year that Irish stepped away from the group to treat “serious medical issues,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

702 released three studio albums between 1996 and 2003, including their debut single “Steelo,” which featured an up-and-coming Missy Elliot.

The group is also known for their 1999 hit, “Where My Girls At?”

702 went through several iterations of the group with several different members. However, Irish Grinstead was a constant throughout it all.

The group is named for the area code of Las Vegas, where Irish was a high school student when she and her group mates were discovered by comedian Sinbad. Afterward, New Edition legend and music mogul Mike Bivins began managing the group. The rest, as they say, is history.

Irish Grinstead’s death comes more than 15 years after her twin sister, Orish, an original member of 702, died from kidney failure.

Irish and LeMisha reflected on the loss of their sister during an episode of “BET Presents The Encore” in 2021, according to ABC News.

Describing the sisters as “like triplets,” Irish said opening up about Orish was cathartic, saying “it was kind of relieving to be able to speak about it and to finally let it out my heart.”

In 2018, 702 announced a reunion tour featuring Irish, LeMisha and Kameelah Williams, an original member.

Condolences were pouring in on social media as “RIP Irish” was a top trending term on the app formerly known as Twitter.

This is a developing story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.


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