Friday, September 9, 2011


- 1948, December 10. Beverly Hills, California. Jessica born to Mary Gladys Wilkerson and Lane C. Cleaves.

- 1966. Join Harry Elston, Floyd Butler and Barbara Jean Love into "Distinctive Friends" changed to "Friends of Distinction" later.

- 1969-71. Recorded four albums with Friends Of Distinction.

- 1972-73. Join The Earth, Wind & Fire and rec. "Last Days & Time" and "Head To The Sky"

- 1973, January 10. Perform Live With Earth, Wind & Fire at the "Soul!" Show.

- 1974-76. Recorded with Don Everly, Gene Harris,...

- 1976. Join Funkadelic and recorded a couple of albums.

- 1978-80. Rec. with Bobby Hutcherson, Fred Wesley, Brides Of Funkenstein, Funkadelic and Parliament.

- 1980-82. Rec. with Parliament, Cousin Ice, Philippe Wynne, David Gamson, Funkadelic and George Clinton (I Really Envy The Sunshine, Send A Gram, My Love, Eyes Of A Dreamer)

- 1982-84. Join Raw Silk and rec. a couple of 12".

- 1985. Rec. the single "May The Cube Be With You" with Thomas Dolby.

- 1986-88. Rec. with George Clinton, Incorporated Thang Band and Thomas Dolby.

- 1987. Act with George Clinton P-Funk in "The Night Before" movie.

- 1989-90. Rec. with George Clinton.

- 1992. Rec. with Trey Lewd.

- 1993-94 Rec. the last (?) two albums with George Clinton/Parliament/Funkadelic/P-funk All Stars.

- 2012. "Cleaves' godson filmmaker Armand Araujo is scheduled to begin filming her life story "Jessica Cleaves, My Friends of Distinction" in 2013." (from WikiPedia)

- 2014, May 2. Los Angeles, CA. Jessica dies at age 65.


  1. You should make these photos able to view seperately...these are great photos that google should be able to circulate. Very few people know what Jessica looks like because there are so few photos posted on the Internet.

  2. Jessica Cleaves has one of the most beautiful voices in last 50 years of popular music -- funny a truly unsung hero. It was her spiritual tone that would stop wherever your mind was going, pulling it from the abyss into a chamber of enchantment and peace. It would be great to see this documentary. Please get it done and let the World know!!

  3. "Crazy Mary" ~ "I Really Hope You Do" ~ Jessica Cleaves is unforgettable!!!

  4. Jessica is my best friend and she is certainly one of Gods special gifts to the planet earth. She has a huge heart, loves God, loves people. She is now a very private person today. Praises to God to know that her story is finally going to be told, what a great story to tell. Love my Sis.

    1. Jessica and I were best friends at L.A. High. I never saw her after high school. I was too fast and then I joined the Black Freedom Movement. Fly Freely Queen. I would love to connect with you when I am in L.A.

  5. God bless her. When you see her, tell her that this is James, who lived with Edith Gurcell and Sherry Scott on the Sunset Strip when she used to drop by and visit Sherry and Edith in 1971 and '72. She'll know who I am. Just say "nostril" and tell her she's still as beautiful now as then.

  6. May you Rest in Paradise Jessica Cleaves...5/2/2014
    Just saw George Clinton post- copied and paste below

    George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
    31 mins ·
    Our friend Jessica Cleaves left us today .
    Jessica, you will be truly missed,it was a great honor to funk with you . You are already missed.
    May you fly forever in peace

  7. Dear Jessica, whose beautiful spirit and glorious voice are soaring above in a better place. I will miss you greatly but know you are finally at peace
    and always near.

  8. I have always loved "I'd Rather Have You"! I know it word for heartfelt word, R.I.P Jessica and thank you for your beautiful songs..I didnt have to meet you to know my heart.

    1. My favorite song by Jessica too. It is a superb gem! Totally timeless, just like Jessica!

  9. Such a beautiful voice - Lady Mae, I'd rather have you, etc. I've never heard another voice like hers. Incomparable. May she now soar in spirit in the same way she made our hearts feel when listening to her enchanting voice.

  10. Beyond Heartbroken...just google searched Sister Jessica to see if there were any updates on her health, and discovered that she had made her transition last week. Out of all the female vocalists I've had the pleasure of hearing down through the years, Jessica, "I'd Rather Have You"...truly beyond compare!! And her preeminence was of course greatly enhanced by the "game changing" groups she sung with. She was for sure a gift from the Creator...may she now rest in everlasting peace with that same Creator.

  11. Jessica one of the greatest voices ever. I loved your voice on Last days and times, head to the sky and Friends of Distinction and so many P-Funk records. You helped shape my teen years. Much Love. Thank you!

  12. "I really hope you do" was the first song I "slow drag " (as we call it in washington dc)off of. Even had my first Kiss off that song. Every time I walk in the park I put on "I rather have you".just simply beautiful. One thing about your gift Jessica, we can hear it forever. You were a musical part of my teen years, and I thank you for that. What a talent, a Job well done Ms Cleaves, May you rest peacefully, a true fan. Gary Q

  13. Thank you Boptura for creating this site to memorialize our beloved Jessica. I appreciate you!

  14. The Friends of Distinction were notorious for making beautiful music and not releasing it as the A side. Floyd Butler's extraordinary rendition of "Going In Circles" was almost ignored because it was released as the B side of "Let Yourself Go". "Check It Out" a song written by Butler became a hit for Tavares. Jessica Cleaves seemed to be involved in so many songs like this. The groups biggest hit "Grazing In The Grass" had as the B side "I Really Hope You Do" a beautiful ballad sung by Jessica Cleaves, a different song should have been chosen as the B side.
    The same thing can be said of her brief tenure with Earth Wind & Fire. Jessica's rendition of the beautiful Skip Scarborough ballad "I'd Rather Have You" was definitely one of the best songs on the "Last Days and Time" lp, but to my knowledge it was never released as a single. Jessica's voice will be missed. I personally don't believe she received the recognition she so rightfully deserved in her lifetime.