Grinstead’s sister and fellow group member Lemisha Grinstead announced Irish’s death 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,” Lemisha wrote.
“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.”
While no cause of death was provided, Irish had been battling “serious medical issues” since at least December 2022, when the group announced that she would take a leave of absence from 702.
The Houston-born, Las Vegas-raised Grinstead sisters named their girl group after Sin City’s area code, 702. The trio — Irish and Lamisha Grinstead along with Kameelah Williams — released their debut album No Doubt in 1996, with the album featuring early songwriting credits (and a guest appearance) by Missy Elliott on their debut single “Steelo.”
A self-titled second album arrived in 1999, and with it the trio’s best-known song, the Missy Elliott-co-written single “Where My Girls At?,” which peaked at Number Four on the Hot 100. 702 released one more album — 2003’s Star, boasting production from the Neptunes and featuring appearances by Clipse and Pharrell Williams — before the trio disbanded in the mid-2000s.
“Irish May your beautiful soul Rest Peacefully in the arms of the Lord,” Missy Elliott tweeted Sunday. “A Multitude of prayers for the entire Grinstead family.”
In 2008, Irish’s twin sister Orish — who provided background vocals for 702 — died from kidney failure amid a battle with cancer at the age of 27.
Kameelah Williams added on Instagram, “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. 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 cus 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.”