Monday, September 18, 2023

R&B Star Irish Grinstead of 702 Dies at 43

Irish Grinstead
Irish Grinstead, a prominent member of the '90s R&B girl group 702, known for hits like "Where My Girls At?," has tragically passed away at the age of 43. Her representative, Cory Taylor, confirmed the news to USA TODAY on Sunday. The cause of her untimely death remains undisclosed.

In a heartfelt statement shared on Instagram, LeMisha Grinstead, Irish's sister and fellow bandmate, expressed profound grief and the family's request for privacy during this difficult time.

LeMisha wrote, "It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that my beautiful sister and friend, Irish Grinstead, has passed away this evening. 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. Love always, Misha."

Irish Grinstead faced health challenges in the months leading up to her passing. In December 2022, 702 disclosed on Instagram that Irish was taking a "medical leave of absence due to serious medical issues." The specific nature of her medical condition was not disclosed in the post.

"It is our hope that she will experience a healthy and swift recovery in the upcoming months," the group conveyed at the time. "During this incredibly challenging period, we kindly ask for your understanding of our need for privacy and your continued prayers as Meelah and Misha continue to navigate and represent 702 for scheduled performances in 2023."

Irish Grinstead achieved fame as an integral part of 702, a group named after the Las Vegas area code, their hometown. The group's debut in 1996 saw the release of the gold-certified album "No Doubt," featuring the chart-topping single "Steelo," a collaboration with Missy Elliott.

702's most iconic hit, "Where My Girls At?," claimed the No. 4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1999. As news of Irish Grinstead's passing spread, tributes from fans flooded social media, featuring music video clips showcasing her signature dance moves alongside her sister and fellow band member, Kameelah Williams.

While "Star" marked the group's last album, released two decades ago, they continued to captivate audiences with live performances, including several scheduled for the remainder of this year.

Irish Grinstead's twin sister, Orish Grinstead, sadly passed away in 2008.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Watch: Ben Affleck Fails to Impress Ice Spice With Rap Skills in New Dunkin' Donuts Commercial

Photo Courtesy Dunkin' Donuts
During the MTV Video Music Awards, Ben Affleck debuted a new Dunkin' Donuts commercial, where he teams up with rapper Ice Spice to create the "Ice Spice Munchkins Drink." In the ad, Affleck's attempts at freestyle rapping fall flat, leading to some amusing moments. The drink, described as "reminiscent of the texture of a cookies and cream shake," combines Dunkin's pumpkin-flavored donut holes with Frozen Dunkin' Coffee. Ice Spice, also known as Isis Naija Gaston, was nominated for four VMAs and won Best New Artist.

Hip-Hop's Golden Night: Diddy, Taylor, and Megan Drama Highlight 2023 VMAs

 Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for MTV
In a star-studded spectacle at Newark's Prudential Center in New Jersey on Tuesday night, the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards showcased unforgettable performances, jaw-dropping wins and appearances by some of music's biggest stars.

Hosted by rap legend Nicki Minaj, the event also celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip-hop while recognizing outstanding achievements in music videos.

One of the most anticipated moments of the night was the return of two legends: Shakira and Sean "Diddy" Combs. Shakira received the prestigious Video Vanguard Award, while Diddy was honored with the Global Icon Award.

Both delivered memorable performances, but it was the Bad Boy CEO, who was presented the honor by his daughter Chance Combs, that swept the audience into a wave of nostalgia.

Taking the stage with boundless energy, the music mogul, joined by his son King Combs in a special father-son moment and several surprise guests, treated the audience to a thrilling medley of his greatest hits. The performance opened with the iconic "I'll Be Missing You," a poignant tribute to the late Notorious B.I.G. This heartfelt homage was followed by the infectious "Bad Boys For Life," infusing the atmosphere with an electric vibe.

Megan Thee Stallion and Olivia Rodrigo also graced the stage, admirably representing the next generation of music stars. However, the evening's standout was undoubtedly Taylor Swift, who earned an impressive 11 nominations and eventually claimed the prestigious Video of the Year award for her hit "Anti-Hero."

Yet, the true heart of the 2023 VMAs lay in its celebration of hip-hop. The iconic "Hip-Hop Royalty" performance took fans on a journey through the genre's evolution, from its roots with Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five to the modern era with Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. The tribute underscored hip-hop's profound impact on the music industry over the past half-century.

The event did not shy away from recognizing rising talents in the genre, with artists like GloRilla, Ice Spice and Kaliii making appearances, signaling a promising future for hip-hop.

Nonetheless, the ceremony was not without its share of surprises and drama. Backstage, a momentary exchange between Megan Thee Stallion and Justin Timberlake piqued curiosity. While it appeared as if they were in disagreement, later sources clarified that it was a friendly encounter, marking their first meeting.

2023 MTV VMA Award Winners
  • Video of the Year: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
  • Song of the Year: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Best New Artist: Ice Spice
  • Show of the Summer: Beyoncé
  • Group of the Year: FIFTY FIFTY
  • Song of the Summer: Taylor Swift ft. Ice Spice – "Karma"
  • Album of the Year: Nicki Minaj – "Super Freaky Girl"
  • Push Performance of the Year: TOMORROW X TOGETHER – "Sugar Rush Ride"
  • Best Collaboration: KAROL G, Shakira – "TQG"
  • Best Pop: Taylor Swift – "Anti-Hero"
  • Best Hip-Hop: Nicki Minaj – "Super Freaky Girl"
  • Best R&B: SZA – "Shirt"
  • Best Alternative: Måneskin – "THE LONELIEST"
  • Best Rock: Måneskin – "THE LONELIEST"
  • Best Latin: Anitta – "Funk Rave"
  • Best Afrobeats: Rema & Selena Gomez – "Calm Down"
  • Video For Good: Dove Cameron – "Breakfast"*