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The Isley Brothers

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Lincoln Heights, Ohio (1954 – present)

The Isley Brothers is a highly influential, successful and long-running American music group consisting of different line-ups of six brothers, and a brother-in-law, Chris Jasper. The founding members were O’Kelly Isley, Jr. (1937 - 1986), Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley and Vernon Isley (1942–1955). They are the only act to have at least one Hot 100 hit in each of six consecutive decades: the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s. The Isleys (as they are commonly called) were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

First formed in the early ’50s, the Isleys have enjoyed one of the longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music — over the course of nearly a half century of performing, the group’s distinguished history spanned not only two generations of Isley siblings but also massive cultural shifts which heralded their music’s transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering funk. The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Lincoln Heights, Ohio, where they were encouraged to begin a singing career by their father, himself a professional vocalist, and their mother, a church pianist who provided musical accompaniment at their early performances. In 1954, the Isley Brothers were officially formed and the quartet toured the gospel circuit. The group was comprised of Ronald, Rudolph, O’Kelly, and Vernon Isley; after Vernon’s 1955 death in a bicycling accident, tenor Ronald was tapped as the remaining trio’s lead vocalist.

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