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Isley Brothers’ Marvin Isley Dead at 56

Marvin IsleyMarvin Isley, namesake bassist for the soul-funk pioneers the Isley Brothers, died in Chicago on June 6. He was 56.

In the Sixties, Marvin followed in the musical footsteps of his older brothers, first starting a band with his brother Ernie and cousin Chris Jasper. By 1973, the trio had officially merged with their commercially successful family members in the Isley Brothers and produced the album ’3+3,’ which went gold. Marvin would continue to play with them through the mid-’80s, laying down the funk on songs like ‘That Lady,’ ‘Fight the Power,’ ‘For the Love of You’ and countless others. Eventually the back-up trio would split from the Isley outfit forming Isley-Jasper-Isley, whose biggest hit was the 1985 R&B single ‘Caravan of Love.’ In 1991, Marvin re-joined the Isley Brothers and, with them, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

Despite the musical chairs, Marvin’s time in the Isley Brothers would inspire hip-hip and R&B for generations to come. Ice Cube sampled their ‘Footsteps in the Dark’ on ‘The Predator’ track ‘It Was a Good Day.’ Sadly, diabetes forced Marvin to retire from music in 1997.

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