Jewell Caples, ‘First Lady’ of Death Row records dies at 53

Her passing comes a couple of months after she was hospitalized with a heart condition. 

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Jewell Caples, the ‘First Lady’ of Death Row Records has died at age 53.

As reported by PEOPLE, Reggie Wright Jr., former head of Death Row security, confirmed that Caples died Friday at around 5 a.m. The cause of death is unknown, but her passing comes just a few months after the singer was hospitalized with a heart condition. 

In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, Caples’ manager, Timothy Beal, said, “Jewell was a very special woman with a big heart. She had been a guest at my wedding back on Feb. 12 of this year. We shared many many spiritual conversations. She had transformed her life from hardcore gangsta rap to faith-based gospel singer and songwriter.”

Vibe first broke the news of Caples’ passing.

Beal said Caples was working on her return to the music industry.

“We have been working diligently on her comeback. We wish we could have seen her make her big comeback,” the statement continued. “I will personally miss her a great deal. Goodbye to a great great friend and a very loving woman …RIP to her, gone but not forgotten. Her spirit will live on through her music for generations to come. Rest In Peace and Power.”

Caples’ musical career began when she contributed vocals for gangsta rappers N.W.A. In 1992, she signed with Death Row Records as a solo artist and rose to fame after appearing on Dr. Dre’s iconic The Chronic album as well as Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle and Tupac’s All Eyez on Me.

She’s best known for covering Shirley Brown’s “Woman to Woman” and lending her vocals to the Deep Cover and Above the Rim soundtracks. Caples took a break from the industry but reemerged in recent years to give interviews and discuss her journey on The Art Of Dialogue YouTube channel. (WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT)

After she was hospitalized in March, Caples shared on Instagram that doctors found “8 lbs. of fluid on my heart, lungs, and legs,” she said. 

“I Almost Died! Was supposed to be Airlifted to another facility,” Caples wrote. “GOD reverse my symptoms extended me some GRACE! And gave me more time with my Family and Friends! Thank you JESUS for saving my life again! GOD IS REAL!”

In 2011, she self-published her memoir, My Blood My Sweat My Tears. Most recently, she launched a podcast titled The Jewell Xperience Broadcast.

Death Row Records artist Dazz Dillinger shared his condolences on social media.

“🌹RIP 🌹REST N PEACE 🌹@iamjewellcaples IM SAD THIS REALLY HURT BUT JEWELLZ PASSED THIS MORNING,” former Death Row artist Dazzel Dillinger wrote on Instagram. “WOW DEATHROW FOR LIFE. WE GONE MISS HER 🌹🌹🌹 CLASSIC MUSIC 🎼 FAMILY OVER EVERYTHING.”

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