Jesse Powell Biography

Jesse Powell was an American R&B and soul singer and songwriter. He was born on September 12, 1971 and passed away on September 13, 2022. Powell was primarily recognized for his hit song “You,” which reached No. 2 on the R&B chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was discovered by Louil Silas Jr. Powell was the older brother of contemporary R&B music artists Trina and Tamara, both of whom released four albums during his lifetime. It was said that Powell had a vocal range that extended across four octaves.   He was up for a Grammy nomination.


Powell was the oldest of three children and was raised in Gary, Indiana, alongside his sisters Trina and Tamara and brother Jacob.   In 1993, he caught the notice of producer Carl Roland in Kansas City, who was attending one of the local talent showcases that his family had participated in. After seeing him perform at an artist showcase, Louil Silas decided to sign him to his label, Silas Records.

After another three years, he finally finished the work on his first record. Powell, Sam Salter, and Laney Stewart were the songwriters behind his debut single, “All I Need,” which was initially released in March of 1996. It reached its highest position on the Billboard R&B chart at number 32 after receiving some rotation on BET and Urban stations. On March 12, 1996, he released an album with his name as the title, which debuted at No. 35 on the Billboard R&B charts and at No. 32 on the Heatseekers charts. Powell earned yet another charting record with a cover version of the timeless song “Gloria” that was released as his second single later that same year (No. 51 R&B).

After beginning production on his second album, Powell released his first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the form of “I Wasn’t with It,” which was released in 1998. This record was Powell’s first to chart on the Hot 100. (No. 85 US, No. 25 R&B). His sophomore album, ‘Bout It, was released on September 8, 1998, and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. This chart is for artists who have not yet cracked the Top 100 on the Billboard 200 chart. The success of the single served as a catalyst for the album’s release. After the initial release of the album’s second single, sales of the collection as a whole began to pick up significantly. Powell’s self-titled debut album was the album on which “You” was first released. In spite of this, it turned out to be a fan favorite and was ultimately included on his album titled ‘Bout It as well as being issued as the second single in February of 1999. It went on to become his biggest hit (and became his hallmark song), reaching its highest position on the Billboard R&B chart at No. 2 and on the Billboard Hot 100 list at No. 10. (marking his first Top 10 hit). The number of copies sold of his second album increased consistently, and the RIAA eventually certified it as gold. It reached its highest position on the R&B chart at number 15, and it peaked at number 63 on the Billboard 200. (moving him out of the Heatseekers chart as an artist). Later on that same year, he released his third single, titled “Bout It, ‘Bout It,” and began working on his third studio album.

After the merger of Silas Records and MCA Records, Powell’s debut release on the MCA Records label was the single “If I” in 2000. The song reached its highest position on the R&B chart at number 58. On March 27, 2001, he released his third studio album, which was titled JP. It debuted at No. 18 on the R&B Albums chart and No. 71 on the Billboard 200. After that came the second single, “Something in the Past,” which peaked at number 67 on the R&B singles chart. In addition, Powell did some promotion for the album’s release. In 2002, he parted ways with the record company and joined Riviera Records instead. Jesse, his fourth studio album, was released on October 14, 2003. It was accompanied by the singles “By the Way,” which reached No. 99 on the R&B list, and “Touching It Tonight,” which reached its highest position at No. 85 on the Billboard R&B chart. It was his final release before he left the music business altogether, and the album served that purpose.

Cause of Death

On September 13, 2022, Powell died at age 51 in his Los Angeles residence

Reactions to the death of Powell

To those who held his music in a very special place in their hearts, the news of Powell’s death was shattering. Music icon Deborah Cox, commenting on Tamara’s tribute post, described Powell as “an amazing talent.”

“My deep condolences to you and the family. He was so lovely,” she wrote.

In one of her recent Instagram posts, Tamara reflected on one of Powell’s highlight reel performances of his smash single, You, describing his brother as “one of the best R&B male vocalists out there.”

“I’m thankful that we were so close; a whole mess all the time. We absolutely adored you “Jet” and our family will not be the same without you,” she wrote.

Here are some other responses to the tragic news of Powell’s passing.