Rudolph Isley, founding member of the legendary Isley Brothers, has died at the age of 84.
A representative for the band told CNN that the singer died Oct. 11. His cause of death is currently unknown.
Isley Brothers lead singer, Ronald paid tribute to his brother via Instagram.
“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 ❤️.” The Grammy Award winner wrote.
The group was founded in 1954 by brothers Rudolph, Ronald, Vernon, and O’Kelly. They started out as a gospel quartet before Vernon was killed in a biking accident.
The Isley Brothers rose to fame in 1959 when their song “Shout” became the first song to hit the Billboard top 100 charts.
Rudolph was known for singing background, but his velvety vocals were featured on some of their most well-known songs such as “I’ve Got to Get Myself Together” which was released in 1969.
The trio transformed into a full band in 1973 when they were joined by their brothers, Ernie Isley on guitar and drums and Marvin Isley on bass. Their brother-in-law Chris Jasper, a keyboard player, also joined the band.
The group went on to produce several top charting albums like” Between The Sheets” which peaked at No 19 on the Billboard 200 in 1983.
Rudolph Isley co-wrote several of the band’s most popular songs including “That Lady.” Released in 1964, the song reached No. 2 on the R&B singles chart and No. 6 on the pop chart. In 2003, “That Lady” ranked 357 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All-time in list.
Rudolph left the band in 1986 to become a minister. He briefly reunited with the band on stage in 1992 when the brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Rudolph Isley is survived by his wife of 65 years, Elaine Jasper, and his children, Rudy Jr., Elizabeth, Valerie and Elaine, and brothers Ernie and Ronald as well as several grandchildren.
BLACK ENTERPRISE sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rudolph Bernard Isley.
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