Jessica Cleaves (born December 10, 1948, in Los Angeles, California) is an American singer and songwriter. Cleaves was lead singer for The Friends of Distinction in the 1960s.
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.
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 also performed and recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire, and later with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
Cleaves' godson filmmaker Armand Araujo is scheduled to begin filming her life story Jessica Cleaves, My Friends of Distinction in 2013.