Jesse Powell, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who was best known for his 1999 hit “You,” passed away on Tuesday, reports Deadline. He was 51.
His passing was confirmed by his sister Tamara Powell, who said her brother passed away peacefully at his home in Hollywood, just a day after his 51st birthday.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and uncle Jesse Powell,” Tamara said in a statement from the family on Instagram.
“The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn this tremendous loss and celebrate his everlasting legacy,” the post continued.
The family will remember Powell as a man “who loved music and was devoted to his fans.”
“We want you all to know that you meant the world to him,’ the statement concluded.
No cause of death was shared.
In another post, Tamara wrote, “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.”
Powell was born in Gary, Indiana to a family of singers and musicians. Eventually, he relocated to Los Angeles in the ’90s to pursue music.
In 1993, he was discovered at an artist showcase by Louil Silas, who signed him to his Silas Records imprint.
As a solo artist, his self-titled album was released in March of 1996 to moderate success. One of the standout tracks, a beautiful ballad “You,” allowed Powell to showcase his four-octave vocal range.
Bout It, his second album, was released in 1998 and featured an updated version of “You.” The song, which Powell co-wrote, became his signature hit, reaching No. 2 on the R&B Billboard chart and No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 the same year. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Proving its staying power, “You” has amassed nearly 13 million lifetime streams on Spotify and it still remains a favorite at weddings.
Powell went on to record two more studio albums: JP was released in 2001 and Jesse in October 2003.
When he retired from the industry, Powell continued to collaborate with other artists and worked behind the scenes in television production.
We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jesse Powell.