MadameNoire Featured Video

Irish Grinstead, a beloved member of the hit ‘90s girl group 702, has passed away at the age of 43. On Sunday, Sept.17, fans and several stars took to social media in shock when the heartbreaking news was announced by the singer’s sister and bandmate, LeMisha Grinstead. 

Missy Elliott– who was featured on the group’s 1996 classic “Steelo”– sent “a multitude of prayers” to “the entire Grinstead family” on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Irish, May your beautiful soul rest peacefully in the arms of the Lord,” the femcee added. 

Fans sent their condolences and some took a trip down memory lane, revisiting beautiful moments from the R&B titan’s coveted music career. One stan, named Michelle, couldn’t believe how “good” 702 was during their incredible reign in the ‘90s. The X user commented underneath a video of Irish singing alongside her fellow groupmate Kameelah Williams and sister LeMisha in the music video for their 1999 classic, “Where My Girls At.”

A few sad fans recalled memories of listening to the group’s R&B heartbreak ballad, “Get It Together.”

“RIP Irish Grinstead from the group 702 …this was my favorite song from them and one of my favorite ’90s joints,” a netizen named Taemoney434 penned. “Definitely used to send this to my ex when we were going through it.”

Another user opined, “702’s ‘Get It Together’ will always be my shit. RIP Irish Grinstead.”

LeMisha Grinstead revealed the tragic news on Sunday.

On Sunday, LeMisha, 45, revealed the tragic news of Irish’s passing on Instagram. 

“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening. She has had a long battle and she is finally at peace,” the platinum recording artist wrote.

LeMisha added that her sister’s big and bold personality was “as bright as the stars” and that “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!” she continued. “We, the family, ask for prayers and respect for our privacy as we grieve an outstanding loss to our family. Love always, Misha.”

A slew of celebrity A-listers sent their love and condolences in the comments section.

Tameka Tiny Harris of Xscape wrote,“Truly sorry for your loss… feels like our loss respectfully…Praying for your strength & peace at this time!! Fan for life.”

Da Brat penned, “I’m so sorry. Here if y’all need ANYTHING.”

Actress Shamea Morton chimed in, “Praying for you all.”


In December, 702 announced that Irish would be taking a leave of absence.

Irish’s cause of death has not been revealed, but the news comes just nine months after the group announced that she would be taking a leave of absence from 702 due to “serious medical issues.”

“It is our hope that she will make a healthy and speedy recovery,” the group wrote via their 702Beat Instagram page on Dec. 15, 2022.

The Grinstead sisters and Williams were raised in Las Vegas and named their iconic group after the area code of their hometown. In 1996, 702 skyrocketed to fame after they released their debut album No Doubt, which featured their hit single “Steelo” with Missy Elliott. It was later used as the theme song for Nickolodean’s Cousin Skeeter.

Three years later, in 1999, the group dropped their self-titled LP, which featured their popular track, “Where My Girls At.“ The song peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Songs chart and received Gold status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The R&B powerhouses garnered Gold from the RIAA on three other singles, including “Get It Together,” “Steelo,” and “No Doubt.”

In 2003, the group released their final album, Star–which spawned two singles—”I Still Love You” and “Star”—shortly before they disbanded in the mid-2000s. 

This isn’t the first death to rattle the Grinstead family.

In 2008, Irish’s twin sister Orish– who was an original member of 702— died from kidney failure after a tough battle with cancer at 27, Rolling Stone reported. 

Orish left before the group released their debut album, but according to The Sun, the late singer sang background vocals for the group occasionally after her departure. In 1995, Orish made an appearance as one of the original members of 702 when male R&B group Subway dropped their music video for “This Lil Game We Play” alongside the group. She also made a brief cameo in “Steelo.”

On Instagram, Williams reflected on the painful loss of both Irish and Orish in an emotional open letter.

“Devastated & heartbroken. I struggled with this post because, to me, this isn’t real.  There’s a lot I want to say, but there’s no way to say what your heart hasn’t fully accepted,” the singer wrote on Sunday.

She continued, “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 because I know how much you missed her. You & 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,” & I still love you, my forever lil sis!!! Rest easy.

During an interview on GlobalGrind’s No Judgement Zone in 2014, Williams went into detail about what led to the breakup of 702 after their final album.

“I think we were in a space of everything just being too much,” the star told host BlogXilla. “You know, we had all this success and whatnot, but we were still kind of young, too.”

Williams said that she felt some “animosity” from the Grinstead sisters when she came into the group in the early ‘90s following Orish’s departure.

“I think after a while, the girls probably started feeling a little, some type of way, about me just coming in and becoming the lead singer. I think eventually, it just took its toll because we didn’t really talk about it much, but there were definitely, you know, some feelings of animosity towards me.”

Watch the full interview below.




RELATED CONTENT: Babyface Enlists Ella Mai, Doechii, Queen Naija, Ari Lennox And Kehlani For ‘Girls Night Out’ Album

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN