Where my girls at?
Before they were stars, Irish, Orish, and LeMisha could have been found singing in the lobby of Vegas’ Caesars Palace. After being discovered by stand-up comedian Sinbad, the trio went from being regular students at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts to an R&B group named “Sweeta than Suga,” a name Sinbad thought of himself. Shortly afterwards, the group met New Edition’s Michael Bivins, who changed their name to “702” (Vegas’ area code). From there, things moved pretty fast for the young girls.
The group debuted on R&B singer Subway’s “This Lil’ Game We Play.” Then, after being joined by Kameelah Williams, the quartet recorded a demos of “Steelo” and fan-favorite “Get It Together.” After Bivins worked with countless producers and songwriters to ensure 702’s first album was perfect, No Doubt ranked No. 1 on Top Heatseekers, the “breaking and entering” music charts released by Billboard. The debut LP produced three hit singles: “Steelo,” “All I Want,” and “Get It Together.”
After 702 released their third album Star in 2003 — which made it to the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 — the group gradually fell apart. LeMisha got married and started working at a wedding chapel in Las Vegas. Kameelah Williams had a baby with Musiq Soulchild before announcing that she was going solo in 2010. Unfortunately, Orish, who left the group before No Doubt debuted, died from kidney failure in 2008.
In a recent interview, Kameelah, who is currently working on her next album, talked about the group’s split. “We just kind of, I think, where just in a space of everything just being too much. You know, we had all this success and what not, but we were still kinda young too,” she remembered. “And I think after a while, the girls probably started feeling a little… some type of way… I’m sure for, you know, me just coming in and becoming the lead singer. And I think eventually it just kind of took its toll.”
Despite any past animosity between the girls, the group is back together.
The group gave fans a shock after they walked the red carpet at the Soul Train Awards together over the weekend (Nov. 5), making it their first appearance as a group in over a decade. While there has yet to be any talk of new music, the group is expected to do an episode of Unsung.
The TV One television series does 60-minute documentaries on fallen — but well-known R&B — artists and groups. 702’s episode is slated to premiere early in 2018.
A Diva on TV
Kameelah is already familiar with being on television as she stared in the reality TV show R&B Divas: Atlanta alongside Monifah Carter, Angie Stone, Syleena Johnson, LaTavia Roberson and Keke Wyatt. On the show, fans got to see an inside look at her relationship with lover Musiq Soulchild and their son Zachary. The couple’s relationship was shown to be pretty on-and-off, but there was always tons of love between them.
Back in 2017, Soulchild and Kameelah were reportedly “starting over.” During an interview with Hype Magazine, Soulchild was asked if him and the singer were getting back together officially any time soon.
Referring to his 2017 single “Start Over,” Soulchild replied, “I can’t say yes or no to that. Just listen to the song. Musiq talks about his love life in his music, so the answers are there.”
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