Irish Grinstead, a member of the ’90s R&B girl group 702, has passed away, aged 43, following severe medical issues for which she took a leave of absence in December.
Singer Irish Grinstead, a member of the R&B girl group 702, best known for their 1999 hit, “Where My Girls At,” passed away on Saturday following “a long battle” with medical issues for which she took a leave of absence in December. She was 43.
LeMisha Grinstead, her sister and fellow 702 group member, announced the news on Instagram. While a cause of death has not been revealed, the group announced in December that Irish would take “a medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues.”
“It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend has passed away this evening,” wrote LeMisha. “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.”
Irish Grinstead’s identical twin sister Orish, who was one of the early members of 702 before their official debut, died of kidney failure in 2008 at age 27. The twins were born on June 2, 1980, in Houston.
Fellow 702 group member Kameelah Williams paid tribute to Grinstead in an Instagram post: “Devastated and 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.”
“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,” Williams writes. “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.”
702 consisted of the Grinstead sisters and Williams and was named for the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas. The group’s debut 1996 album, No Doubt featured a guest appearance by Missy Elliott and won Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year in 1997. Their second album, 702 was released in 1999 and featured the hit song “Where My Girls At.”
The group released their album Star in 2003 before disbanding in 2006 and taking a hiatus. The Grinstead sisters appeared on “BET Presents: The Encore” in 2021, a ten-episode reality series about former R&B girl group members attempting to create an album in 30 days as a supergroup.