702



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702 (pronounced "Seven-O-Two"), named after the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, is an American platinum-selling R&B trio. Originally a quartet, the group eventually became a trio, which includes twin sisters Irish (born , 1980), and Orish Grinstead (, 1980 - , 2008), their sister LeMisha 'Misha' Grinstead (born , 1978) and lead singer Kameelah Williams (born , 1978).


History


Beginnings

In Las Vegas, sisters LeMisha and Irish Grinstead, and their friend Kameelah Williams, were students at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. Whenever a big boxing match was in town, the Grinstead sisters would sing in the lobby of Caesars Palace and show off their vocal skills for all who would listen in the hopes that someone in the music industry would pass by. After many of these appearances, LeMisha, Irish, and her twin Orish, were losing hope, until one day, actor/comedian Sinbad, happened to walk by. Though not a music producer, he believed that the Grinsteads were talented and visited their home in order to convince their parents to send the trio to Atlanta for a convention and music competition. Though the girls missed the deadline for entry, Sinbad used his name to get them in. "Sweeta than Suga," as they were then called (Sinbad suggested the name), came in second in the competition. As the convention was nearing a close, the sisters happened to see Michael Bivins (formerly of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe) passing by and persuaded him to listen. He later said that he thought he had found his own version of the Supremes. With the crowd that had gathered egging him on, Bivins agreed to work with the girls. After 702 made their recorded debut on Subway's hit single "This Lil' Game We Play" in the video Orish is the one standing next to Irish at the beginning. (Originally, there were 4 members: sisters Irish, LeMisha, Irish's twin sister Orish and their cousin Amelia), Amelia Grinstead dropped out of the group and was replaced by LeMisha, Irish and Orish's good friend Kameelah Williams, then after recording a few demos as a quartet even "Steelo", and "Get It Together", Orish decided to leave the group (even though her vocals appear on the first album). while Bivins continued to work with different producers and songwriters to get the right feel for their first album. The new group was christened "702," which is Las Vegas' area code, a name which Bivens suggested.


1996???1998: Rise to fame
Main article: No Doubt (702 album)

Their debut album, No Doubt shot to #1 on Top Heatseekers. Missy Elliott co-wrote & produced 4 songs on the album including the smash hit single "Steelo" and its remix. The album spawned the 3 hit singles: "Steelo", "All I Want" and "Get It Together". "Steelo" with altered lyrics was used as the theme song to the Nickelodeon television show Cousin Skeeter & "All I Want" was featured in the Nickelodeon movie Good Burger. 702 also performed on Nickelodeon's All That. "Get It Together" exploded by giving the group a #3 R&B single and a #10 Pop single on the Billboard charts. The album earned them a Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award in 1997. It sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. In addition to the album, 702 opened for New Edition, Keith Sweat, and Blackstreet during the 1996-97 New Edition reunion tour. They also appeared on Elliott's debut album Supa Dupa Fly on her 1998 song Beep Me 911 which didn't make it onto the American charts but reached #14 on the UK Singles Chart. The girls also sang with Busta Rhymes' new artist Rampage. "My Friend" was featured on the soundtrack to "Men in Black". In 1998 702 made cameos in the sitcoms Sister, Sister and Moesha.


1999???2000: Career development
Main article: 702 (album)

After going gold with their debut album, they released their self-titled second album, 702. The first single off of the album "Where My Girls At?" was written and produced by Missy Elliott and made #4 on The Billboard Hot 100 and went gold. The single spent months on the chart, became nominated for the song of the year, and gained them a 1999 Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award nomination. The album made the Top 40 on Billboard 200 and earned them a 2000 Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award nomination and sold more than 500,000 copies going gold. 702, before releasing their second album, had also sang the national anthem for the WNBA season opener. 702 was also apart of Brandy's Never say Never tour. On June 18, 702's LeMisha gave birth to her son Tony Lyndon and left in order to take care of her son. Orish took her place during LeMisha's brief absence. They also made a cameo in the 1999 ABC-TV movie "Double Platinum" starring Brandy and Diana Ross. 702 also signed a deal with Wilhelmina Models. "You Don't Know" and "Gotta Leave" were released but failed reach the success "Where My Girls At? did" . In 2000, 702 along with Eric Ben?t were Brian McKnight's opening act for his tour supporting his album Back at One.


2001-2002: Hiatus and "Pootie Tangin"

Once the hype for the second album died down, 702 took a hiatus from the spotlight. Kameelah Williams decided to part from the group and go solo. She briefly became the new prot?g? of Faith Evans and signed a deal to be managed by Faith and her husband, Toddy Poo Russaw, under their Pedigree MGI Management. Kameelah sang backup and wrote 3 songs Faith Evans' album, Faithfully. She also sang backup for Missy Elliott on her Miss E...So Addictive third single "Take Away". In 2001 it was rumored that she joined the R&B band Total but was later denied.


The Grinstead sisters, the remaining members of 702, decided to retake their place in the spotlight and enlisted Cree Lamore to replace Meelah. Under the revamped 702, they recorded the lead single "Pootie Tangin" for the Chris Rock movie, Pootie Tang. In the video for "Pootie Tangin", Irish and Cree can be seen sharing lead vocals. The song failed to make any charts but earned them a 2002 Soul Train Lady Of Soul Award nomination.


2003 - 2004 : Star
Main article: Star (702 album)

702 returned to record their third album. The album Star was released in March 2003 and made the Top 50 on the Billboard 200. The girls worked with singers Mario Winans, Faith Evans and Clipse and producers The Neptunes, Mike City, Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs. The album didn't sell. The single "Star" and "I Still Love You" failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 but did make Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. "Star" at #98 and I Still Love You" at #49. The album earned them two Soul Train Lady of Soul Award nominations later in 2003. Irish Grinstead appeared in The Brewster Project in 2004. It was their last album to feature original member Orish Grinstead before her death.


2008 : Orish Grinstead's death

Original member Orish Grinstead, twin sister of Irish, died on April 20, 2008 from kidney failure. She can be seen as one of the original 4 members of 702 in the video, "This Lil' Game We Play" with Subway.


Awards


American Music Awards


Year
Result
Category
2000
Nominated
Favorite Soul/R&B New Artist

For: "702"

BET Awards


Year
Result
Category
2001
Nominated
Best Female Group

For: "702"

Soul Train Lady Of Soul Awards


Year
Result
Category
1997
Won
Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year - Group, Band or Duo

For: "No Doubt"
1999
Nominated
Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo

For: "Where My Girls At?"
2000
Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year - Group, Band or Duo

For: "702"
2002
Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo

For: "Pootie Tangin"
2003
Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year - Group, Band or Duo

For: "Star"
2003
Best R&B/Soul Single - Group, Band or Duo

For: "I Still Love You"

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Original Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/702