R&B singer Jewell, also known as the First Lady of Death Row Records, has reportedly died. According to Reggie Wright Jr., she passed away at 5 a.m. on Friday (May 6), roughly two months after she revealed she’d been hospitalized with eight pounds of fluid on her heart, lungs and legs. An official cause of death, however, hasn’t been confirmed.
Jewell was signed to Death Row from 1992 to 1996 and had multiple hits with artists such as Dr. Dre, Tha Dogg Pound, N.W.A and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
In a 2021 interview with The Art Of Dialogue, Jewell recalled singing on N.W.A’s “I’d Rather Fuck You.” She later followed Dr. Dre from Ruthless Records to Death Row Records where she did some solo work on the Deep Cover soundtrack, as well as “Let Me Ride” and “B*tches Ain’t Sh*t” from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic.
Jewell followed with “What’s My Name” and “Gin & Juice” from Snoop Dogg’s 1993 debut, Doggystyle and later Tha Dogg Pound’s “What Would You Do?” and Snoop’s “Murder Was The Case.” Jewell’s debut album, Black Diamond, remained shelved until the label sold in the 2000s. After a self-imposed hiatus, she later rejoined Death Row for 2Pac’s All Eyez On Me.
Speaking on her career, Jewell told The Art Of Dialogue she was “seen but not heard,” which she believed was due to her physical appearance.
“I was never seen, but my voice was heard,” she said. “I was a juicy girl, and they wanted a slim-jim. So you never really saw me in any videos.” She only started getting attention after serving three months for an attempted murder charge during which time she lost weight.
“I was a skinny girl when I came out, so they put me in the ‘What Would You Do?’ video,” she added, “I was never upset with the process, but I was mad that my album really never came out.”