Singer-songwriter Rudolph Isley, a founding member of the R&B group The Isley Brothers, has died. He is 84 years old.
A representative for the Isley brothers confirmed to USA TODAY in an email Thursday that Rudolph died Wednesday. The cause of death was not disclosed. TMZ first reported the news.
“There are no words to express how I feel and how much I love my brother,” Rudolph’s brother Ronald said in a statement. “Our family will miss him. But I know he is in a better place. “
The Isley Band consisted of brothers Rudolph, Marvin, O’Kelly, Ronald and Ernie Isley and was formed by musician Chris Jasper in 1954 Rudolph, O’Kelly, Ronald The Isley Band was formed in Cincinnati when he and brother Vernon Isley began singing in church. The group disbanded in 1955 after 13-year-old Vernon was hit and killed by a car while riding his bicycle nearby.
In 1957, with the consent of their parents, the remaining brothers decided to reform and move to New York, with Ronald as lead singer. The band subsequently signed with major label RCA Records to produce their 1959 debut album.
Rudolph was one of the band’s primary songwriters and co-wrote the brothers’ breakthrough song “Shout,” released in 1959. The song was immortalized in the 1978 comedy “Animal House” and has been used as a rallying cry at sporting events ever since. .
In 1973, the band added brothers Marvin and Ernie and brother-in-law Jasper to the lineup, and went on to release other hits such as “Twist and Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “That Lady” and “Struggles with Power,” the latter three co-written by Eisley.
In 2001, when their song “Contagious” hit the charts, they became the longest-charting artist on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with a total of 42 years.
Rudolf left the band in the late 1980s after recording of their album Spend the Night, released in October 1989. According to Isley’s profile on the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s official website, he continues to engage in Christian ministry.
The Isley Brothers were nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and won Best R&B Vocal Performance in 1970 for “It’s Your Thing.” The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2014.
The band was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2022. Representing the band at the ceremony were Elaine Isley Goodstone, Ernie Isley and Ronald Isley. At the ceremony, Ernie Isley reminded guests that their early hit “Shout” was recorded sixty years ago and that their musical influence would last for years, prompting the Beatles to cover it they. The two subsequently teamed up for a series of hit songs, including “That Lady,” “It’s Your Thing” and “Between the Sheets.”
The group’s historic success has come with some friction. In March, Isley sued brother Ronald to register a federal trademark for the Isley Brothers’ name, claiming the band’s name should be jointly owned, according to Billboard .
According to Billboard, Isley is claiming joint ownership of the trademark and a share of any revenue Ronald makes from it.
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Contributors: The Cincinnati Enquirer; Mark Kennedy and David Porter, The Associated Press