In Memoriam|

Jesse Powell (September 12, 1971 – September 13, 2022) was an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter. Discovered by Louil Silas Jr., Powell was best known for his hit “You” which peaked at No. 2 R&B and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Powell released four albums, and was the older brother of fellow contemporary R&B singers Trina & Tamara. Powell was credited with a four octave vocal range. He was a Grammy nominee.

Powell was born in Gary, Indiana and raised with his siblings Trina, Tamara and Jacob. The family performed in local talent shows, and in 1993, he attracted the attention of producer Carl Roland in Kansas City. Following an artist showcase, Louil Silas signed him to his Silas Records imprint.

Three years later, he completed work on his debut album. His first single “All I Need” was written by Powell, Sam Salter and Laney Stewart and was released in March 1996, peaking at #32 on the Billboard R&B chart. His self-titled album was released on March 12, 1996, opening at #35 on the Billboard R&B and #32 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. The followup single, a remake of the 1976 Enchantment song “Gloria”, reached #51 R&B.

Powell then began work on his second album, debuting the lead single “I Wasn’t with It” in 1998, which became his first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (#85 US, #25 R&B). Bolstered by the success of the single, his second album ‘Bout It was released on September 8, 1998, topping the Heatseekers chart. The album’s second single. “You”, was released in February 1999 and became his biggest hit, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The record was certified gold by the RIAA, peaking at #15 on R&B and #63 on the Billboard 200.

Following Silas Records’ merge into MCA Records, Powell’s first release on the label was the single “If I” in 2000, which peaked at No. 58 on the R&B chart. His third studio album JP was released on March 27, 2001, opening at #18 R&B and #71 on the Billboard 200. A second single, “Something in the Past” (#67 R&B) followed, in addition to Powell doing some promotion for the release. In 2002, he left the label and signed with Riviera Records. His fourth studio album, Jesse, was released on October 14, 2003 and was supported by the singles “By the Way” (#99 R&B) and “Touching It Tonight” (#85 R&B).

Powell died at age 51 from cardiac arrest in his Los Angeles home on September 13, 2022.


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