Jessica 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.
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 performed and recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire. She later moved to Detroit where she joined forces with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic for several recordings, including Computer Games, R&B Skeletons in the Closet and Dope Dogs.
She died in hospital in Los Angeles, aged 65, following complications from a stroke.
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