Jessica Cleaves

Jessica Cleaves
Born (1948-12-10)December 10, 1948
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Died May 2, 2014(2014-05-02) (aged 65)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres R&B, pop, soul, funk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Associated acts The Friends of Distinction, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Clinton, Parliament-Funkadelic, Raw Silk

Jessica Marguerite Cleaves (December 10, 1948 – May 2, 2014) was an American singer and songwriter. Cleaves was lead singer for The Friends of Distinction in the 1960s.[1][2]

Early life

Jessica Cleaves was born to Mary Gladys Cleaves (née Wilkerson), a librarian, and Lane C. Cleaves II, a US Postal employee. Cleaves' paternal grandfather, Lane C. Cleaves Sr., was Presiding Bishop over Phillips Temple, CME.[3]


The Friends of Distinction was founded by Harry Elston and Floyd Butler, and beside Cleaves, it included Barbara Jean Love (plus Charlene Gibson, who replaced Love during her pregnancy).

During the 1970s, Cleaves performed and recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire. She later moved to Detroit where she joined forces with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic[4] for several recordings, including Computer Games, R&B Skeletons in the Closet and Dope Dogs.[5]

Cleaves died in Los Angeles, California, aged 65, following complications from a stroke.[5] Her godson, director Armand Araujo, began filming Jessica Cleaves, My Friends of Distinction at the time of her passing.[5]


Grazing in the Grass

US Billboard Hot 100

US Billboard Hot Soul Singles


External links

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