Irish Grinstead, a vocalist for the R&B female group 702’s breakthrough song “Where My Girls At?” has passed away. She was 43 years old.
Lemisha Grinstead, a member of the 702 and Grinstead’s sister, shared the news on Instagram with a picture of Irish on Saturday.
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” she wrote. “She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace.”
The post continued, “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.”
Irish Grinstead Death
Although the reason for the death of Grinstead was not made public, the band revealed in December 2022 that Irish would be taking a break from touring because of “serious medical issues.” Her twin sister Orish Grinstead, who was a member of the band’s original lineup and died at the age of 27 from kidney failure in 2008, preceded the singer in death by 15 years.
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
The Grinstead sisters, who were raised in Las Vegas and gave their female group the name of their local area code, originally finished it off with Kameelah Williams. Following the release of their debut album, No Doubt, in 1996, they collectively achieved prominence in the late 1990s. Their debut album, which included early songwriting credits from Missy Elliott, brought them recognition and positive reviews, but it was their self-titled follow-up that truly signalled their presence.
The 1999 hit “Where My Girls At?,” which Elliott produced and co-wrote, and which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, was the most well-known song on the group’s album 702. Before disbanding in the middle of the 2000s, the trio would put out one more album, Star, and be featured on the soundtracks for Pootie Tang and Good Burger.
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Throughout the years, Amelia Cruz, Cree Le’More, and Tiffany Villarreal were also part of the group. In 2017, the Grinstead sisters and Williams came back together, had a performance at the Soul Train Music Awards, and agreed to participate in the reality series BET Presents The Encore. In 2022, Irish left the organization to take a medical leave.
Elliott was among those who paid tribute to Grinstead on social media, writing, “Irish, may your beautiful soul rest peacefully in the arms of the Lord. A multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family.”
Williams also posted a picture of Irish and paid homage to the two Grinstead sisters on Instagram.
“I struggled with this post because to me this isn’t real,” she wrote. “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 ‘cuz I know how much you missed her.”
She added, “You and 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’ and I still love you, my forever lil sis!!! Rest easy, Irish.”