THE Isley brothers will forever be one of America’s most iconic R&B and soul groups.
The group have had their fair share of highs and lows over the years. Here is the lowdown on each of the legendary brothers…
Who are the Isley Brothers members?
The Isley Brothers are a band originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Although the band has had various iterations over the years, it was formed in the 1950s as a vocal trio with brothers O’Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley.
The brothers were raised in the Cincinnati’s Lincoln Heights suburb and learnt to sing at church with their father, O’Kelly Isley, Sr and their mother Sallye.
They started singing with their brother Vernon. But Vernon was tragically killed at at thirteen in a car accident as he was riding his bike.
Following Vernon’s death, the trio started performing together and touring together,
By 1959, the group had landed a recording deal and gained pop recognition in 1959 with their track Shout.
In 1965, the brothers signed with Motown records in 1965 after which they released their well-known hit, This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You).
In 1973, the original trio was joined by their younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and Rudolph’s brother-in-law Chris Jasper.
The now six-man band shot to international recognition with tracks That Lady, Fight the Power and For the Love of You.
The band received a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2014.
Ronald Isley is the founding member of the band, and for the most part was the trio’s lead vocalist.
Tenor Ronald began singing at the age of two.
Ronald’s hits with his brothers include It’s Your Thing, Work To Do, Fight The Power, For The Love Of You, and Between The Sheets.
Following his brother Kelly Isley’s death in 1986 and Rudy’s exit, Ronald has carried on performing with the Isley Brothers name and as a solo artist.
The singer married Margret Tinsley in 1960 and in 1969 welcomed his first daughter Tia Isley.
In 1993, he married singer Angela Winbush but they divorced in early 2002.
Ronald has been embroiled in a tax evasion scandal and in 2006, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison.
Following his release in 2010, Ronald carried on performing. In 2014, he made a cameo appearance in the music video for Kendrick Lamar’s song, i.
He has a net worth of $2 million dollars.
O’Kelly Isley Jr.
O’Kelly Isley Jr. is the eldest of the Isley Brothers.
He had his own signature look, often spotted donning a cowboy hat and Western clothing.
The brothers have claimed it was Kelly who discovered Jimi Hendrix and signed him up with the band.
In 1985, O’Kelly, Rudy, and Ronnie signed with Warner Bros. Records and released their hit album Masterpiece.
But just a year after its release, in March 1986, Kelly suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 48, during a long battle with cancer.
He left behind two sons, Frank and Doug.
Rudolph Isley, along with Kelly and Ronnie, is one of the founding members of The Isley Brothers.
Rudy, who is thought to have a net worth of $2 million, married Elaine Jasper in 1958.
After achieving massive success with his brothers, Rudy Isley left The Isley Brothers and turned his back on the music industry in 1989 to pursue his lifelong dream of being a Christian minister.
He is thought to still be working in a California church.
Ernie is a younger brother of the original Isley boys.
He latterly played lead guitar and drums for their six-piece band.
Ernie started playing drums at 12 and first performed as a member of his brothers’ band in 1966 at the age of 14.
In 1968, Ernie got his first guitar after being inspired by José Feliciano’s version of Light My Fire.
As a songwriter, Ernie penned Fight the Power, Harvest for the World, Voyage to Atlantis, (At Your Best) You Are Love, Footsteps In the Dark, and Brown Eyed Girl.
In 1990, Ernie released his first solo album, High Wire.
Ernie, along with Isley Brother members Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper, formed the spin-off group Isley-Jasper-Isley.
But he later returned to the Isley Brothers as a duo with Ronald.
The pair continue to work together on tour and in the studio and released the album The Power of Peace in 2017.
He is married and has one daughter, Alexandra. Ernie has a net worth of $2 million dollars.
Marvin Isley played the bass guitar as part of his brother’s six-piece band.
But a bout of diabetes forced him to leave the band in 1997, and he subsequently had to have both of his legs amputated.
He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2001: “If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn’t have happened.”
Marvin died on June 6, 2010.
He is survived by his wife, Sheila, a son, Corey, and two daughters, Sidney and Jalen.
Chris was Rudolph’s brother-in-law and studied music in college with Ernie and Marvin.
Jasper plays piano, keyboards and synthesizers, and is the brains behind the group’s famous songs Fight the Power and Harvest for the World.
After forming splinter group Isley-Jasper-Isley, in 1988, Jasper began his solo career.
He scored a solo No. 1 R&B hit, Superbad.
Following this, he had a spiritual conversion and became a devoted Christian.
Jasper now performs as a gospel solo artist and producer.
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