Rudolph Isley, Pioneering Co-Founder of The Isley Brothers, Passes Away at 84

Isley lent his voice to the iconic R&B band alongside his brothers from the 1950s until he transitioned to a calling as a Christian minister in the late 1980s.

Rudolph Isley, one of the legendary Isley Brothers' founding members, passed away at the age of 84. The sad news emerged on Oct. 11 from Illinois, with initial reports from TMZ suggesting a potential heart attack as the cause, though confirmation is pending.

Originating in the vibrant musical era of the late 1950s, The Isley Brothers were initially a trio, formed by Rudolph and his siblings Ronald and O’Kelly. As they navigated the music industry, they created a legacy with enduring hits like “Twist & Shout,” “This Old Heart of Mine,” and the unforgettable “It’s Your Thing.” Their contribution to the R&B genre has been unparalleled, blending soul, funk, and rock innovatively.

Ernie Isley (L) and Ronald Isley (R) of US band The Isley Brothers attend the Songwriters Hall of Fame 51st Annual Induction and Awards Gala in New York on June 16, 2022. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

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By the 1970s, the group expanded its lineup to include their younger brothers, Ernie and Marvin. This expansion also included Chris Jasper, Rudolph’s brother-in-law. Together, they continued to craft music that resonated with fans across generations.

In the late '80s, Rudolph left the group to become a minister.

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