On Tuesday night, Jesse’s sisters — recording artists Trina Powell and Tamara Powell — both shared a message on social media announcing their older brother’s death.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved son, brother and uncle Jesse Powell. He passed away peacefully in his Los Angeles home,” reads Tamara’s Instagram post. “The family asks for privacy at this time as we mourn this tremendous loss and celebrate his everlasting legacy. 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,” concluded the post (which Trina also shared on Facebook), signing off, “The Powell Family.”
Jesse’s cause of death has not been announced.
Tamara shared a second Instagram video early Wednesday of Jesse performing his popular 1999 song “You,” which also appears on his self-titled 1996 debut album.
“That voice!” Tamara wrote in the caption. “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. 😅🍃💨,” she added. “We absolutely adored you “Jet” & our family will not be the same without you.”
“You” proved the most popular song of Jesse’s career, carrying nearly 13 million lifetime Spotify streams.
Born Sept. 12, 1971, in Gary, Indiana, Jesse grew up singing with his sisters in local talent shows, according to a biography on AllMusic.
He began working with producer Carl Roland in 1993 and earned a break in the recording industry when record executive Louis Silas, Jr. discovered him at an artist showcase in Los Angeles and signed him to a recording contract, according to AllMusic.
Jesse released four albums between 1996 and 2003, according to AllMusic, and his second, ‘Bout It, was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999.
On July 1, Jesse released a single titled “Addison Walker” on Spotify, an instrumental track that runs just 58 seconds long.
A review of the artist’s third album, 2001’s JP, notes that he had a four-octave vocal range — rare for singers, according to AllMusic.