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Jewell, 'First Lady of Death Row Records,' Dead at 54

Jewell Caples, the R&B vocalist who earned the title "The First Lady of Death Row Records" for her work on some of the iconic rap label's biggest hits, is reportedly dead at 54.

Former labelmate Daz Dillinger broke the news on Instagram.

"IM SAD THIS REALLY HURT BUT JEWELLZ PASSED THIS MORNING," wrote the rapper alongside a picture of the singer.


Caples, who went by Jewell professionally, joined the label in 1992 and in subsequent years appeared on multiple platinum albums released by its roster of rap giants, including Dr. Dre's "The Chronic", Snoop Dogg's "Doggystyle," and Tupac's "All Eyez On Me."

She also found some success as a solo artist. Her cover of the Shirley Brown classic "Woman to Woman" reached No. 16 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop songs list in 1994.

In 2011, her self-published memoir, "My Blood My Sweat My Tears," caused controversy for encouraging rumors about Dr. Dre's sexuality — with many taking the author to be accusing the producer of being gay and her thoughts on who really murdered Tupac.

"Is he [gay]? [Laughs] Do we know for sure? Hmmm. I mean, there have been talks about back in the day with the tight, glitter pants, when he was wearing eyeliner and stuff like that," she told HipHopDX in a 2011 interview about the book. "I’m just [telling] some experiences that I went through when I was on Death Row that I’ve seen with my own eyes. So, that’s all I’ma say about it. It’s in the book. Get it. Read it. Understand it. Absorb it."

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