R&B singer Jesse Powell, best known for his sensual 1998 hit “You,” has died at age 51. The singer’s death was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 13) by his sister, singer/songwriter Tamara Powell, who paid homage to her brother in an Instagram post.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother, and uncle Jesse Powell,” she wrote in a statement attributed to the singer’s family in which she said that Powell “passed away peacefully” at his Los Angeles home. “The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn this tremendous loss and celebrate his legacy,” it continued. “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.”
In another post, Tamara Powell 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.” At press time a cause of death had not been announced and Billboard had not independently confirmed Powell’s passing.
Powell was born in Gary, Indiana on Sept. 12, 1971 into a musical family — both of his sisters, Trina and Tamara are also vocalists — and in addition to his 1996 self-titled debut he also released ‘Bout It in 1998, JP in 2001 and Jesse in 2003.
“You,” which appeared on Powell’s 1996 debut — and was also included on 1998’s ‘Bout It — hit No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, has been streamed nearly 13 million times on Spotify to date.
Listen to a live performance of “You” at the Apollo Theater from 1999 and see Tamara Powell’s posts below.