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Rudolph Isley, Founding Member of Legendary R&B/Soul Group Isley Brothers, Passes Away at 84


The world mourns the loss of Rudolph Isley, one of the founding members of the iconic R&B and soul group, the Isley Brothers, who passed away at the age of 84.

Rudolph Isley’s death, which occurred on October 11th, was first reported by TMZ, and it is believed that he may have suffered a heart attack, though the exact circumstances remain undisclosed. The Isley Brothers’ official Instagram page announced the postponement of a scheduled event, citing unforeseen circumstances.

Rudolph Isley was an integral part of the Isley Brothers, a group that embarked on its musical journey in the 1950s. Comprising siblings O’Kelley, Rudolph, Ronald, and Vernon Isley, the group initially honed their singing talents in church. After a tragic accident claimed the life of Vernon at the age of 13, the remaining three brothers persevered and relocated to New York in pursuit of their musical aspirations. Their career took flight after securing a deal with RCA Records, with the breakthrough single “Shout” in 1959, which not only charted on the Billboard Hot 100 but also sold over a million copies.

Their success continued to soar, with hits like “Twist and Shout” and “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You).” In 1969, they released “It’s Your Thing,” which earned them a Grammy Award. Later, in 1971, younger brothers Ernie and Marvin, as well as Rudolph’s brother-in-law Chris Jasper, joined the group. The Isley Brothers went on to make more music and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

In 1989, Rudolph Isley decided to leave the group to embark on a career in Christian ministry. Nevertheless, he reunited with his brothers on several occasions for special performances of their greatest hits. Remarkably, the Isley Brothers are among the select few bands with the distinction of charting new music on the Billboard Hot 100 in six different decades, with their last charting entry in 2001 with “Contagious.” Additionally, sixteen of their albums have achieved top 40 rankings, with thirteen being certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum by the RIAA.

With the passing of Rudolph Isley, the surviving members of the group are Ronald Isley (82), Ernie Isley (71), and Chris Jasper (71), although he is no longer associated with the band. Our hearts and thoughts are with Rudolph’s loved ones during this time of mourning.

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Written by:
Dana Sterling-Editor


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