Marvin Isley, the bass player of The Isley Brothers dies at age 56

June 8, 2010

Marvin Isley, the bass player of the legendary R&B/funk band the Isley Brothers, died June 6 in Chicago at the age of 56.

Marvin died Sunday morning at an inpatient hospice at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. The cause of death was not confirmed although the New York Times reported that Marvin Isley’s death was caused by diabetes. Marvin had retired from performing in 1997 because of complications from diabetes, that included a stroke, a kidney transplant, the loss of both legs and use of his left hand.

The Isley Brothers was formed in 1954 by the three older brothers Ronald, as the lead singer, and O’Kelly Jr. and Rudolph as backup. Marvin Isley joined his brothers’ band in 1973 along with Ernie Isley and their cousin Chris. This made a big impact, resulting in platinum record success with the band’s 3+3 album. They also had 14 Top 10 R&B hits, including “Harvest for the World” and “Livin’ in the Life”.

In 1984 Marvin, Ernie and Chris left the Isley Brothers to form Isley-Jasper-Isley and in 1985 had a No. 1 R&B hit with “Caravan of Love”. In 1991 Marvin Isley returned to the Isley Brothers.

The Isley Brothers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

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