Rudolph Isley, Founding Member of The Isley Brothers, Dead at 84

Rudolph Isley, a founding member of the legendary R&B group The Isley Brothers, died on Wednesday (Oct. 11) at his home in Olympia Fields, Illinois. He was 84.

Rudolph’s attorney, Brian D. Caplan, confirmed the news to Pitchfork and conveyed a statement from Isley’s daughter: “Rudolph Isley, a founding member of the world famous Isley Brothers, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of October 11, 2023. He died at his home, with his devoted wife Elaine by his side. They had been married for 68 years. Rudolph was a deeply religious man who loved Jesus.”

Ronald, Rudolph’s brother and co-founder of The Isley Brothers, expressed his sentiments, stating to Variety, “There are no words to express my feelings and the love I have for my brother.”

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Rudolph Isley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1939. Alongside his brothers O’Kelly, Vernon, and Ronald, he established The Isley Brothers as a gospel quartet in 1954. Vernon was killed in a bicycle accident in 1955, but the group continued as a trio, moving to New York in 1957 and signing with RCA Records two years later.


The Isley Brothers released their first album in 1959 and went on to have a decades-long career, with hits such as “Twist and Shout,” “This Old Heart of Mine,” “Love the One You’re With,” and “That Lady.” Their first No. 1 album, The Heat Is On, was released in 1975.

After reforming a trio with Ronald and O’Kelly for 1985’s “Masterpiece,” tragedy struck when O’Kelly died one year later from a heart attack. Rudolph and Ronald would go on to release two more albums before Rudolph retired from the music industry in 1989 to become a Christian minister.

Rudolph sued Ronald earlier this year over lost profits and Ronald’s tight hold over the group’s trademark.

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

Rudolph Isley Cause Of Death

The cause of Rudolph Isley’s death has not been publicly released, but TMZ reports that he may have suffered a heart attack.

Rudolph Isley Wife 

Rudolph Isley was married to Elaine Jasper. They were married for over 60 years and had four children together: David, Rudolph Jr., Angela, and Elaine Jr.

Rudolph Isley passed away on October 11, 2023, at the age of 84. Elaine Isley was by his side at the time of his death.

Rudolph Isley Height

Rudolph Isley was 5’9″ tall. He was a short man, but he had a big presence. He was known for his flamboyant style and his energetic performances.

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