Jessie Lee Daniels, founding member of the R&B group Force MDs, has died, the group announced via Facebook on Tuesday (Jan. 4). He was 58.
No cause of death has been revealed at this time.
“To one hell of a entertainer ‘Jessie D’ of legendary Force MDs. He ate, sleep and breathe music everyday,” read Force MDs’ message. “Please put a heart up for him. He was loved!!!!!!!!!! To the family, friends and fans today we lost a real talent. Our condolences goes out to his siblings, kids and the Force MDs….”
Daniels was born July 4, 1963, in Staten Island, New York, where he and his nephews Stevie D. Lundy, Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy and Rodney “Khalil” Lundy formed Force MDs — which stands for “Musical Diversity” — in 1981. Their friends “Trisco” Pearson and Charles “Mercury” Nelson later joined.
The hip-hop/R&B hybrid group — which was foundational to the new jack swing movement of the 1980s — signed to Tommy Boy Records in 1984. Force MDs scored their first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986 with the Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis-written “Tender Love.” “Love Is a House” became their second and last song to reach the Hot 100, peaking at No. 78. “Love Is a House” hit No. 1 (and stayed at the top for two weeks) on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, where Force MDs had 16 total entries and three more top 10 hits, including “Tender Love” (No. 3, 1986), “Tears” (No. 5, 1984) and “Touch and Go” (No. 10, 1987). “Tender Love,” which was included on their sophomore album Chillin’, was also featured in the 1985 musical comedy-drama film Krush Groove about the early days of Def Jam Recordings.
Fellow Staten Island native Ghostface Killah put them back on the map in the ’90s when their vocals were featured on the rapper’s 1996 album Ironman, specifically on the tracks “Daytona 500” and “The Soul Controller.”
Daniels is the fifth member of Force MDs that has died. Charles “Mercury” Nelson died of a heart attack in 1995, frequent collaborator DJ Dr. Rock died of natural causes in 1996, Antoine “T.C.D.” Lundy died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1998, and “Trisco” Pearson died of cancer in 2016.
Read tributes to Jessie D from Questlove, Ice-T and more below.
— ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 5, 2022
— Rob Base (@Robbasemusic) January 5, 2022
Rest In Peace To Legendary Singer Jessie D From The R&B Group The Force MD’s. If You Really Know The History Of This Group Shout To Anybody That Remember When They Was Called The Force MC’s!!! Jessie D & The Group Put Staten Island NY On The Map Period!!! He Will Be Missed. pic.twitter.com/8Ln8iAkoPF
— MISTER CEE (@djmistercee) January 5, 2022