The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH. In 1954, four family members-Kelly, Ronald, Rudolph and Vernon Isley formed a gospel quartet. After Vernon’s death in 1955 the group disbanded but they restarted 2 years later. With success on singles such as “Shout” and “Twist and Shout”, and a short time with Jimi Hendrix as a background guitarist, the group settled on a style of soul and funk defined by the Grammy-winner “It’s Your Thing” in 1969.
In 1973 the group reformed with members including younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and brother-in-law Chris. They became known as 3 + 3 and reached gold and platinum success with albums such as 3 + 3and The Heat Is On, and hit singles such as “That Lady”, and “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love).”
In 1984, the younger brothers left the group and the remaining trio continued recording until Kelly’s death in 1986. Rudy left the group in 1989 for a career in the ministry leaving Ron releasing solo records and sometimes performing under the Isley Brothers name. In 1991, Ron re-formed the group with Ernie and Marvin, and in 1997 Marvin retired due to diabetes. Since then the lineup has been Ron and Ernie, but has not performed since 2006.
The Isleys are one of the most sampled groups in hip-hop history. Their recordings have been sampled by musicians such as 2Pac, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, The Notorious B.I.G., Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg among others.
Ankeny, Jason . “Isley Brothers Biography.” Star Pulse. 17 October 2008. http:// www.starpulse.com/Music/Isley_Brothers/Biog.