Marvin Isley of Isley Brothers dies at age 56

Tue Jun 8, 2010 2:45am EDT
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By M. Tye Comer

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Marvin Isley, bass player for the Isley Brothers, died in Chicago on Sunday, aged 56. He reportedly succumbed to complications from diabetes, a disease that forced him to retire from performing with the legendary funk band in 1997.

Marvin joined the Isley Brothers in 1973 after the original lineup -- comprised of older brothers O'Kelly Jr., Rudolph and Ronald -- had scored hits with songs like "Twist and Shout," "It's Your Thing" and "Shout."

The band's first album with Marvin, 1973's "3+3," went platinum. Marvin is credited with bringing a funkier, younger vibe to the group on several songs that have been heavily sampled by hip-hop artists such as Ice Cube and Jim Jones.

The Isley Brothers continued to chart throughout the '70s with songs like "Who's That Lady," "Fight the Power" and "Between the Sheets," many of which were co-written by Marvin and the two younger members, brother Ernie and brother-in-law Chris Jasper. Marvin, Ernie and Jasper split off in 1984 to form Isley-Jasper-Isley, but returned to the fold in 1991.