Saturday, September 29, 2012

702

702 was a female R&B group from the 90's that consisted sisters LeMisha "Misha" (born on June 10, 1978) & Irish (born on June 2, 1980) Grinstead and their friend, Kameelah Williams.

Irish's twin sister, Ornish was also a founding member and subsititute vocalist for the group. The group was named after the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.

LeMisha, Irish, and Kameelah attended the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. Irish, Orish, and LeMisha sang occasionally in the lobby of Caesars Palace where they were discovered by actor\comedian, Sinbad.

Sinbad visited their home in order to convince the girls' parents to send the three of them to Atlanta for a convention and music competition.

Even though the girls missed the deadline for entry, Sinbad used his name to get them in. The group (under their original name "Sweeta than Suga") came in 2nd place in the competition. As the convention was ending, the girls met Michael Bivins of New Edition & Bell Biv Devoe, who agreed to work with them.

The group were briefly joined by their cousin, Amelia Childs. After making their music debut on R&B group, Subway's song, "This Lil' Game We Play," Amelia left the group and was replaced by Kameelah.

After recording a few demos as a quartet, Ornish left the group as well (even though her vocals appear on 702's debut album). Michael Bivins continued to work with different producers and songwriters to get the right feel for the group's album. The group's name was changed to "702" which Michael suggested.
In October of 1996, 702 released their debut album, "No Doubt" which peaked at #82 on the Billboard 200, #24 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart, and topped Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. In November of 2000, the album was certified Gold by the RIAA, with sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the United States.
The first single from the album, "Steelo" peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 1996, #16 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, and #12 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart in November of 1996, staying on the chart for 28 weeks.

The song featured rapper Missy Elliott and was certified Gold by the RIAA by February of 1997, with sales exceeding 500,000 copies in the United States.

The song's lyrics were altered and used as the theme song to the Nickelodeon television series, "Cousin Skeeter."
The second single, "Get it Together" peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1997, #7 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart in March of 1997, staying on the chart for 27 weeks.
The title song peaked at #58 on Billboard's Hot R&B Airplay chart, staying on the chart for only 7 weeks.
The last single from the album, "All I Want" peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September of 1997, #22 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music\Maxi-Singles Sales chart, #31 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart, and #33 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. The song was featured on the "Good Burger" movie soundtrack.

The success of 702's debut album earned them a Soul Train "Lady of Soul" Award in 1997. They also opened up for New Edition, Blackstreet, and Keith Sweat during New Edition's 1996-1997 reunion tour.

The group made an appearance on Missy Elliot's album, "Supa Dupa Fly" on the track, "Beep Me 911." They even sang with Busta Rhymes' new artist, Rampage.

They contributed the song "My Friend" to the "Men in Black" movie soundtrack. In 1998, 702 made cameo appearances on the television shows "Moesha" and "Sister, Sister."
In June of 1999, 702 released their self-titled sophomore album which peaked at #34 on the Billboard 200 chart and #7 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart

During that same month, LeMisha gave birth to a son named Tony Lyndon and was replaced by Orish during her maternity leave.
The first single from the album, "Where My Girls At?" became their biggest hit, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1999, #10 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream chart, #6 on Billboard's Top 40 Tracks chart, topped Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart, and #3 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 29 weeks.

The song managed to chart in the United Kingdom, Canada, Sweden, and the Netherlands. It was certified Gold by the RIAA and earned them a Soul Train "Lady of Soul" Award nomination.
The follow-up single from the album, "You Don't Know" peaked at #50 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks.
The last single from the album, "Gotta Leave" peaked at #58 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 9 weeks. It also peaked at #35 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart.

702 was a part of Brandy's "Never Say Never" tour. They also appeared in the 1999 ABC television movie, "Double Platinum"featuring Brandy and Diana Ross. They even signed a deal with Wilhelmina Models and was the opening act for Brian McKnight's tour, promoting his album, "Back at One."

After the release of their second album, 702 took a brief hiatus. Kameelah decided to leave the group and start a solo career. She was briefly the new protege of Faith Evans and signed a deal to be managed by Faith & her husband, Todd Russaw under their Pedigree MGI Management.

Kameelah sang backup vocals and wrote three songs on Faith's album, "Faithfully." She also sang backup on the track, "Take Away" from Missy Elliot's album, "Miss E...So Addictive."

In 2001, it was reported that Kameelah joined R&B group, Total which was later denied. Later that year, it was reported that 702 would be featured on Aaliyah's self-titled third album for the track "Candy Girls" that would also feature Missy Elliott and Timbaland, but according to various sources, it was found to be untrue.

LeMisha and Irish decided to return to the spotlight and enlisted singer Cree Lamore to replace Kameelah. As the new version of 702, they recorded the lead single, "Pootie Tangin'" for the Chris Rock film, "Pootie Tang" which failed to make any impact on the charts, but it earned them a 2002 Soul Train "Lady of Soul" Award nomination.

After Kameelah returned to 702 and replaced Cree, 702 returned to the studio to record their third studio album.
In March of 2003, 702 released their last album to date, "Star" which peaked at #45 on the Billboard 200 chart and #22 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart.
The title song, featuring hip-hop duo Clipse, peaked at #98 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for only 2 weeks.
The follow-up single, "I Still Love You" peaked at #49 on Billboard's Hot R&B\Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, staying on the chart for 20 weeks. The album earned the group two Soul Train "Lady of Soul" Award nominations.

During that same year, 702 shared lead vocals on the track, "Gamble It" on singer Sirena's album, "Emotions." Irish appeared in the Brewster Project in 2004.

In 2006, 702 appeared on the independent album, "E Sharp Presents." In 2007, LeMisha released a song entitled "What I Got" which appeared on the independent album, "E Sharp Presents Vol II."

Sadly on April 20, 2008, Orish Grinstead passed away from kidney failure. She was 27 years old.

In 2010, Kameelah Williams confirmed on her official Twitter that she is now a permanently solo artist and currently working on her solo album which is yet to be released. She also has a child with singer, Musiq Soulchild.

In 2011, Kameelah was featured on the children's album "We are Different" under the name "Meelah" which is available on iTunes.

To follow Kameelah on Twitter, go to:
http://twitter.com/itsMeelah

To see the music video for "Steelo," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ojOERy-mf8

To see the music video for "Get it Together," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdpQfyJFu9A

To see the music video for "All I Want," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq-762UrJcY

To see the music video for "No Doubt," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSYwhBgOtb0

To see the music video for "Where My Girls At," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lO5eGEnyRA

To see the music video for "You Don't Know," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjLaH1xcI28

To see the music video for "Gotta Leave," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANBwTyObmjY

To see the music video for "Pootie Tangin'," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKCGfFHzFTk

To see the music video for "Star," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJJ_9nvGG-w

To see a fan-made video for "I Still Love You," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ic99Lygtk

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