Photo: John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA

Isley Brothers Mourn Founding Member Rudolph’s Passing

Ron and Ernie, two surviving members of the The Isley Brothers paid tribute to their sibling and former bandmate Rudolph Isley, who died at the age of 84.

On Thursday night (10.12,) the legendary soul singers to took to Facebook and confirmed the passing of founder member Rudolph, writing:

“Heaven has gained another angel.” “Our hearts are heavy as we announce the passing of our beloved brother, Rudolph Isley. As we navigate through this deep sorrow, we kindly ask for understanding and respect for our family’s privacy during this challenging time. Remember to hold your loved ones close. We will miss our brother but we know he’s in a better place. Forever in our hearts.”

Though hey did not reveal his specific cause of death, according to TMZ, the musician turned preacher died following a heart attack.

Rudolph, Ron, fellow sibling O’Kelly, and another brother, Vernon, started their professional career in the mid-1950s. Following Vernon’s car crash-related death at 13 years old, the group disbanded. The Isley Brothers regrouped and rose to prominence in the late-1950 thanks to the success of their doo-wop track ‘Shout’ – later a hit in the U.K. for Lulu. Their popularity continued to grow throughout the 1960s, during which time a young Jimi Hendrix played as their guitarist, and 1970s.

Rudolph largely sang harmonies for the group but took the lead on such tracks as ‘I’ve Got to Get Myself Together’ and ‘It’s a Disco Night (Rock Don’t Stop),’ and co-wrote songs such hits as ‘Harvest For The World,’ ‘Fight The Power’ and ‘Shout.’Shout.’

Following the death of O’Kelly in1986, Rudolph left the group to become a Christian minister and In 1991 Ron, Ernie, and another brother, Marvin, revived the band, and continued performing as a duo after Marvin was forced to retire due to diabetes.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA