A legend in the world of R&B often called the "First Lady of Death Row Records" has passed away.
Former Death Row Records singer Jewell Caples, known only as Jewell, has died at the age of 53, and she leaves behind a legacy a mile wide - and big shoes to fill.
The First Lady of Death Row Records has Died
The world of R&B has just beel dealt an enormous blow with the death of former Death Row Records singer Jewell.
AmbrosiaForHeads reported her death May 6, writing, "No cause of death has been made public. In March, Jewell shared on Instagram that she had recently had eight pounds of fluid in her heart, lungs, and legs. In a prayerful IG message, she wrote, 'I almost died! [I] was supposed to be airlifted to another facility. God [reversed] my symptoms extended me some grace! And gave me more time with my family and friends!'”
Heartbreakingly, that time was cut short last week. But family and friends were given more time with the one they love - something Jewell would have been appreciative of.
The former Death Row Records singer was often considered one of the movers and shakers of the legendary brand, and she was instrumental to the rise of several prominent stars - and was working on breaking back into music herself at the time of her death.
Death Row Records and Jewell
Jewell wrote the songs for and recorded with legends Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg among others during her time at Death Row.
XXL Magazine writes, "Regarded as the First-Lady of Death Row Records, Jewell appeared on tracks with N.W.A before eventually signing with Death Row in 1992. She would appear on songs with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre before scoring a marginal solo hit with her cover of 'Woman to Woman,' originally sung by Shirley Brown. The track peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She sang the chorus on Tupac's 'Thug Passion,' which appeared on his diamond-selling All Eyez on Me album."
It all started when Jewell met Suge Knight while N.W.A. was recording. Through him she met Dre, and began recording for Ruthless. Jewell was one of the first to sign with Future Shock, a precursor to what would become Death Row Records.
Life After Death Row
After leaving Death Row, Jewell wrote a memoir of her time in the industry titled, "My Blood My Sweat My Tears," in 2011.
More recently, Jewell hosted a series of stories on The Art of Dialogue's YouTube channel. Through these stories, Jewell shared of her time in the industry and at the forefront of Death Row.
AmbrosiaForHeads writes, "In a 2021 interview with The Art Of Dialogue, Jewell described her contributions to music. She recalls singing on N.W.A.’s 'I’d Rather F--k You.' Jewell followed collaborating producer Dr. Dre from Eazy E’s Ruthless Records to a fledgling Death Row Records. After solo work on the Deep Cover soundtrack, she appeared on 'Let Me Ride' and 'B-----s Ain’t S--t' from Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. The singer then followed with 'What’s My Name' and 'Gin And Juice' from Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle. By the mid-1990s, Jewell featured on Tha Dogg Pound’s 'What Would You Do?' and Snoop’s 'Murder Was The Case.' 'Mostly every song I ever did, I wrote my own lyrics [and] it was a hit,' she asserted in a late 2021 interview. In 1995, Jewell’s own song, the DJ Quik co-produced 'Woman To Woman,' reached #72 on the Billboard Top 100. Despite the traction from the Murder Was The Case soundtrack single, Jewell’s slated debut album, Black Diamond, remained shelved until the label sold in the 2000s. After some time away, Jewell later rejoined Death Row for Tupac’s All Eyez On Me double album."
The most recent activity on her Instagram was advertising for her new podcast, The Jewell Xperience Broadcast.
In 1998, Jewell reunited with some of her former colleagues Snoop and Dre - and in 2021, she flew to New York to work with Puff Daddy.
Jewell's place in the industry in what was a male-dominated era proves that she had the chops to hang with the big boys.
Her loss will be felt for years to come and the lack of what would have been her triumphant return to music will have to go unheard (unless there's a postmortem album).
Jewell leaves behind friends, loved ones - and a legacy of forging her own path.