Originally a Self-formed Girl Group
Las Vegas, NV
702, named after the area code of their hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, is an American platinum-selling female R&B trio, made up of three young African-American women: lead singer Kameelah 'Meelah' Williams and sisters Irish and LeMisha 'Misha' Grinstead.
In Las Vegas, sisters LeMisha and Irish Grinstead, and their friend Kameelah Williams, were students at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts. Irish, her twin sister Orish, and LeMisha occasionally sang in the lobby of Caesars Palace where they were discovered by actor/comedian Sinbad. He 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, they met Michael Bivins (of New Edition and Bell Biv DeVoe) who agreed to work with the sisters. They were briefly joined by their cousin Amelia Childs. After they made their recorded debut on Subway's hit single "This Lil' Game We Play", Amelia dropped out of the group and was replaced by Kameelah Williams. After recording a few demos as a quartet including "Steelo", and "Get It Together", Orish decided to leave the group (even though her vocals appear on the first album). Bivins continued to work with different producers and songwriters to get the right feel for their first album. The reconfigured group was christened "702," which is Las Vegas' area code, a name which bivens suggested.
702 was discovered by Michael Bivins of New Edition and made their recorded debut on Subway's hit single "This Lil' Game We Play". Missy Elliott wrote and co-produced four songs from their first album, No Doubt, including "Steelo". The remix of "Steelo" was the first major solo production credit for Elliott's main collaborator Timbaland. "Steelo" was later used, with altered lyrics, as the theme song to the Nickelodeon television show Cousin Skeeter.
Elliott crafted two more songs for 702, their second album, the top 5 hit "Where My Girls At" and "You Don't Know". No Doubt won a Lady Of Soul Soul Train Award for "Best R&B/Soul or Rap Album Of The Year by A Group Band Or Duo". The group split after the poor sales of their album 'Star' and lack of promotion from Motown.
Kameelah now sings backup for the likes of Faith Evans and Macy Gray. Irish was the only group member to act, as she co-starred in The Brewster Project in early 2004.
Orish, twin sister of Irish, died of kidney failure on Sunday April 20, 2008 at age 27. She was part of the original lineup (pre-No Doubt) and filled in for Misha during her pregnancy.