Home Entertainment Rudolph Isley, founding member of The Isley Brothers, dead at 84

Rudolph Isley, founding member of The Isley Brothers, dead at 84

The Isley Brothers: (l to r) Rudolph, O'Kelly and Ronnie, perform together in an undated photo. (Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Rudolph Isley, one of the founding members of the R&B group The Isley Brothers, has died, his family announced.

He was 84.

“There are no words to express my feelings and the love I have for my brother. Our family will miss him. But I know he’s in a better place,” Ronald Isley, Rudolph’s brother and Isley Brother band co-founder, told CNN in a statement on Thursday.

A representative for The Isley Brothers told CNN that Rudolph died Wednesday. A cause of death was not immediately known.

The Isley Brothers band was formed in the mid-1950s when Rudolph, Ronald, O’Kelly and Vernon Isley started a gospel quartet as teenagers. Vernon tragically died at age 13 before the brothers went on to release their first major hit, “Shout!” in 1959.

Though the band’s membership evolved through the years, The Isley Brothers had enduring success with songs like “Love The One You’re With,” “Testify” and “Between the Sheets.”

Rudolph had not performed with the band since 1986. He left the music industry in 1989 to pursue a life in Christian ministry, but reunited with the group in 1992 when The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

While the Cincinnati-native was still with The Isley Brothers, they earned one Grammy in 1970 for their popular hit song “It’s Your Thing” off their 1969 album “It’s Our Thing.”

More recently, Rudolph and Ronald had been engaged in legal proceedings since March regarding a trademark dispute over ownership of the band’s name, according to Billboard.

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