December 10, 1948 - May 2, 2014
Born December 10, 1948 in Los Angeles, CA to Gladys Wilkerson and Lane C Cleaves. In 1966 she joined Harry Elston, Floyd Butler and Barbara Jean Love into "Distinctive Friends" changed to "Friends of Distinction" later. From 1969-71, she recorded four albums with Friends Of Distinction, one of the groups earlier singles being "Going In Circles" from their 1969 album Grazin' written by the legendary Grammy-Award winner Jerry Peters.
One of the most notable showings of Cleaves talent, would come in 1972, when she joined The Earth, Wind & Fire and recorded "Last Days & Time" and "Head To The Sky" and in 1976, joined Funkadelic and recorded a several albums.
It was announced in 2012, that Cleaves' godson director Armand Araujo is scheduled to begin filming her life story, "Jessica Cleaves, My Friends of Distinction."