Jessie D, a founding member of the Force MD’s, has died.
The official Facebook account for the legendary group announced Jessie D’s passing on Tuesday (January 4). No cause of death was disclosed.
“TO ONE HELL OF A ENTERTAINER “JESSIE D” OF LEGENDARY FORCE MDS,” the post read. “HE ATE, SLEEP AND BREATHE MUSIC EVERYDAY. PLEASE PUT A HEART UP FOR HIM. HE WAS LOVED!!!!!!!!!! TO THE FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FANS TODAY WE LOST A REAL TALENT. OUR CONDOLENCES GOES OUT TO HIS SIBLINGS, KIDS AND THE FORCE MDS….”
Jessie D, whose real name was Jessie Lee Daniels, and the Force MD’s rose to prominence in the 1980s with their blend of Hip Hop and R&B. The pioneering group released six studio albums, beginning with their 1984 debut Love Letters.
The Force MD’s experienced success as their 1985 single “Tender Love” peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. They also found a new audience when they appeared on Ghostface Killah’s acclaimed album Ironman in 1996.
Questlove was among the many Hip Hop artists who mourned the loss of Jessie D after learning about his death. The Roots drummer paid tribute to the Force MD’s member on Instagram.
“Another legend enters his phase as musical ancestor,” he wrote. “Rest eternally to #JessieD of the #ForceMCs/#ForceMDs. Probably the one outfit that truly managed to soar from phase one of hip hop (search for those legendary routines from those 82-85 tapes on YouTube) to the mainstream. They came from the school of you had to do it all: MC/DJ/battle/dance routines/comedy/know your history (novel idea huh?)/croon/harmonize & engage/entertain.”
Read Questlove’s full post about Jessie D below.
AllHipHop’s Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur captured Jessie D’s last performance with the active Force MDs over the summer.