R&B singer Jesse Powell has died at the age of 51 at his home in Los Angeles, his family announced Wednesday (September 14).
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and uncle Jesse Powell,” his sister, GRAMMY winner Tamara Powell, wrote on Instagram.
“Jesse loved music and he especially loved his fans who supported him throughout his career. We want you all to know that you meant the world to him,” the family added.
Powell got his big break after catching music producer Carl Roland’s attention when he sang at a local talent show in his early twenties in Kansas City, Missouri. Following an artist showcase, Louil Silas signed him to his Silas Records imprint.
His self-titled debut established him as an artist with massive potential and one to keep an eye on. The album peaked at No.35 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The project’s singles found a home on the R&B charts, with “All I Need,” “Gloria,” and “I Like It” all taking up residence on the list.
He was still a very young man at 23 when his hit song “You” started roaring up the charts in 1999, situating him as an exciting rising star in an extremely competitive R&B landscape. The song rose to No.2 on the R&B Billboard charts and cracked the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. His second album, ‘Bout It, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The Gary, Indiana native went on to release two more full-length projects, JP in 2001 and Jesse in 2003. The former emerged in the top 20 of the R&B albums chart, with Powell being praised for his impressive vocal performance. The album featured production from the celebrated icon Randy Jackson.
Jesse, from 2003, found the artist returning to his roots, conjuring up infectious love songs that brimmed with the artist’s devotion to music.