Jesse Powell, the 90s R&B singer best known for his 1999 hit “You,” died on Sept. 13 in his Los Angeles home. His sisters and singer-songwriters Tamara and Trina Powell confirmed the news via social media as a family statement. He was 51. The reason for death has not been disclosed.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and uncle Jesse Powell. He passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home,” wrote Tamara in an Instagram caption on Tuesday night. “The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn this tremendous loss and celebrate his everlasting legacy. Jesse loved music and especially his fans who supported him throughout his career.”
The note was signed by “The Powell Family,” who ended their message by saying, “We want you all to know that you meant the world to him.”
An Indiana native, Powell was born in the city of Gary on Sept. 12 in 1971 into a family of vocalists — both of his sisters are also recording artists and played under the duo of Trina & Tamara.
In another post, Tamara paid an emotional tribute to her brother as she shared a clip of him from his live performance and wrote, “That voice! Aside from being one of the best R&B male vocalists out there, you were the best big brother ever. I loved you so much. I’m thankful that we were so close; a whole mess all the time. We absolutely adored you “Jet” & our family will not be the same without you.”
In 1996, Powell released his first single “All I Need” followed by his self-titled album which debuted the same year. By the time he was 23, Powell had scored his first breakthrough single, “You,” which appeared on his first album and was also included on his 1998 sophomore album “Bout It.” “You” proved to be a fan favorite and became Powell’s signature hit and first top 10 entry (peaking at No. 10) on the Billboard Hot 100.
Jesse Powell was one of the artists who helped contemporary R&B get mainstream looks, in the 1990s. While Powell had many years in the game, his commercial peak was the 1998-1999 period.
The singer-songwriter went on to release four studio albums in total, with his last two bodies of work, “JP” and “Jesse,” released in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Shortly after his retirement, he continued to collaborate with other musicians and worked in television production.
Our deepest condolences to the Powell family, as well as their loved ones, at this difficult time. RIP.