Connect with us

FM Community

“Tragic Loss of 702’s Irish Grinstead Shakes Music World: A Farewell To A 90s Icon”



On September 17, 2023, music fans were shocked by the news of the death of 702 member Irish Grinstead. On September 16, at 42, Irish Grinstead bid farewell to the world, leaving behind a legacy of soulful harmonies and boundless talent. It is such which has forever etched her name in the annals of 90s music history. As we remember this influential artist, we reflect on 702’s meteoric rise to stardom, the indelible mark they left on the industry, and the poignant end to their musical journey.

702’s Influence

702 is one of the premier girl groups of the 90s, a force of nature with unparalleled talent. Their ability to deliver seamless harmonies and unwavering determination was captivating. And it soon became obvious their influence would be powerful. It is noted that 702 has inspired many of the girl groups to follow. But beyond their impact on fellow artists, 702 held a special place in the hearts of countless youth during that era. In a  2014 reflective interview, Solange Knowles nostalgically recounts how the soul-stirring melodies of 702 provided the soundtrack to unforgettable moments in her life. She fondly recollected,

“But I know there’s no way to really explain the emotional and physical and mental reaction when you’re at a party in seventh grade, and a 702 record comes on. “

This undeniable truth resonates with many and solidifies their lasting imprint on 90’s culture.

How it Began

Fueled by an earnest desire to break into the music industry, Irish Grinstead, Orish Grinstead, and Lemeisha Grinstead banded together. Later, they were joined by Kameelah Williams. These budding artists relentlessly showcased their talents wherever they could get the opportunity—but their breakthrough moment arrived when they crossed paths with the legendary comedian Sinbad. Sinbad would point them in the right direction, the way to their greater. Upon hearing them, he suggested the group attend Jack the Rappers Music Convention, an avenue of discovery for unsigned talent. The girls took the direction and forever changed their lives when they took home the second-place prize.

702’s Big Break

One opportunity paved the way for the next. That pivotal moment led to an audition before Michael Bivins, a member of the renowned supergroup New Edition. They were signed immediately. At this juncture, 702 was officially born and christened after the Las Vegas area code. In 1995, they made their debut. They sang melodic harmonies on Subway’s track “This Lil Game We Play. The rest is history.


The Success Speaks for Itself

702 experienced worldwide success. According to Vibe, they had four singles reach the Top 40. Two of their most memorable tracks, “Where My Girls At” and “Get it Together,” rose to the top, settling in at number 10 on the Billboards. But this was only a tip of what they would accomplish with their talent. No one who was a hip-hop fan in the 90s can forget the release of “Steelo,” which dominated the airwaves.


There remained no room for doubt; their success firmly established them as authentically talented with charm and charisma to match.

702: The End of The Road

Like many good things, 702’s run came to an end. The confirmation of why the group disbanded for good didn’t come until later. However, the double-edged sword of success inevitably proved to be the divisive force that fractured the group. As documented, conflicts among the members and management escalated, thereby overshadowing their capacity to maintain the strong bond that had initially united them.


Additionally, the group was further devastated by another tragedy when Orish, the twin sister of Irish and Lameisha, tragically passed away in 2008 at the age of 27. Despite no longer being a part of the group at the time of her passing, the impact of this loss remained profound. Unfortunately, today, Lameshia grieves the loss of yet another beloved sister.

The Death of Irish Grinstead

Lameisha was the bearer of the heartbreaking news regarding her sister’s passing. This past Sunday, she, overcome with grief, turned to social media to share the unimaginable loss of Irish. Grinstead expressed that her sister had found peace after enduring a prolonged battle. There is no official confirmation regarding the precise cause of Irish’s passing. However, one thing is sure: today, the world mourns the absence of one less radiant soul. And with that, we give the deepest condolences to Irish Grinstead’s family and friends.

Truly Missed

Her legacy, alongside that of 702, will continue to inspire future generations. As we remember Irish Grinstead and the incredible journey of 702, we are reminded of the enduring power of music to shape our lives and leave an indelible imprint on our hearts. The success, the harmonies, the impact—they all stand as a testament to the remarkable talent of 702 and the timeless influence they had on an entire generation. Rest in peace, Irish, and thank you for the music that will continue to resonate in our hearts.

Written By: Renae Richardson

Continue Reading