/  01.05.2022

Jessie D, one of the founding members of the pioneering R&B and hip hop group Force MDs, has passed away. He was 58 years old.

The group’s official Facebook page confirmed the tragic news in a post on Tuesday (Jan. 4).

“To one hell of a[n] entertainer ‘Jessie D’ of legendary Force MDs,” the post read. “He ate, sleep [sic] and breathe[d] music everyday. Please put a heart up for him. He was loved!!!!!!!!!!”

“To the family, friends and fans, today we lost a real talent,” it continued. “Our condolences goes out to his siblings, kids and the Force MDs.”

Born Jessie Lee Daniels, Jessie D helped form the Force MDs in 1981 with his nephews Stevie D., Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy and Rodney “Khalil” Lundy. Later on, friends “Trisco” Pearson and Charles “Mercury” Nelson also joined the group.

Launched in Staten Island, New York with hip hop roots; Force MDs are best known for their early contributions to the new jack swing movement. They were also among the first R&B vocal groups to mix doo-wop vocal styles over hip hop beats.

In 1984, Force MDs signed a record deal with Tommy Boy Records and dropped their debut album, Love Letters. Throughout the 80s, the group released hits like, “Love is a House,” “Itchin’ For a Scratch” and “Tender Love,” the latter of which rose to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was featured in the 1985 film, Krush Groove.

After news of Jessie D’s passing broke online, fans and fellow artists paid their respects.

“Another legend enters his phase as musical ancestor,” Questlove wrote in an Instagram tribute on Wednesday (Jan. 5). “Rest eternally to #JessieD of the #ForceMCs/#ForceMDs. Probably the one outfit that truly managed to soar from phase one of hip hop… 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.”

“I got to see em live in Philly on the New Edition #AllForLove tour of 86,” he continued. “… They only had a 20 min set but they were determined to let that entire stadium know for the time being? THIS IS OUR HOUSE.”

See Force MDs’ post about Jessie D’s passing on Facebook and more tributes below. Rest In Peace.


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