The Isley Brothers have lost their groovemaster.

Marvin Isley, the youngest of the R&B siblings who provided the thumping bass lines that helped drive the band's chart success in the '70s and early '80s, died Sunday morning. He was 56.

Cousin and Isley keyboardist Chris Jasper told the New York Times that Marvin died at an inpatient hospice at Weiss Memorial Hospital, where he had been residing after suffering complications from diabetes.

The disease forced Isley to retire in 1996 and cost him his legs, which had to be amputated, and the use of his left hand. He had also been stricken in recent years by high blood pressure and a stroke.

In his prime playing days, however, Isley's powerful bass could be heard on all the band's latter-day classics, including "Fight the Power Part 1," "The Pride (Part 1)," "I Wanna Be With You (Part 1)," and "Between the Sheets."

Marvin was born Aug. 18, 1953, and grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. After striking out as part of a trio with older brother Ernie and cousin Chris, the threesome joined their older brothers in 1973, who had found success with such seminal tracks as "Shout," "Twist and Shout" and "It's Your Thing" in the '60s.

The new lineup would release 3 + 3, their first album to go platinum. After years of touring and recording, the Isleys fractured with Marvin, Chris, and Ernie forming the Isley-Jasper-Isley group, which managed the chart-topping R&B hit, "Caravan of Love."

Marvin returned to main group in 1991 and continued performing right up until his diagnosis. The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.


E! Online remembers the ones we've lost this year in our Celebrity Deaths: 2010's Fallen Stars photo gallery.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share