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About Ronald Isley


About Ronald Isley

Born & Raised:

Born: May 21, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Raised in Ohio, currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Early Life:

Ronald Isley was born and raised in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, and was the third of six boys born to Sallye and O'Kelly Isley. The family was a musical one, with all of the brothers learning their musical skills in school and church. Ron displayed a knack for singing at a very young age; by the time he was 7, he had already performed at various venues in the Midwest. By the time he was in his mid-teens, Ron and his brothers regularly performed as part of musical church tours.

Early Career:

In 1957 when Ronald was 16, he and his two older brothers, O'Kelly Jr, who was 19 at the time, and Rudy, who was 18, moved to New York City to pursue a professional music career. They recorded songs for multiple labels before landing a deal in 1959 with RCA Records. In August of that year, the trio recorded its first RCA single, "Shout," under the name The Isley Brothers. The song was a moderate hit in the U.S. and abroad at the time, but over the years gained legendary status. Eventually the group migrated to Wand Records, where they had two more hits in the 1960s, "Twist & Shout" and "It's Your Thing."


In 1964, the Isley brothers formed their own label, T-Neck Records, which was named after their adopted headquarters of Teaneck, New Jersey. The Isley Bros. continued to release albums under T-Neck through the 1960s, and in 1973 the group doubled its membership by adding Ronald's younger brothers Ernie and Marvin Isley to the group, along with childhood friend Chris Jasper, whose sister, Elaine, was married to Ron's brother Rudolph. Their first album as a sextet included two songs with Ron Isley on lead vocals that became legendary: "Summer Breeze" and "That Lady, Pt. 1 & 2," commonly known as "Who's That Lady."


After a number of other hits in the 1970s and early '80s, including "Fight the Power, Pt. 1," "For the Love of You" and "Between the Sheets," three members of The Isley Bros. left the group in 1984 to form a trio called Isley Jasper Isley. Ron stayed on to guide the original group, but by the end of the decade, the group went on hiatus. In 1991 the group was reborn under the reworked name The Isley Bros. feat. Ronald Isley, and went on to release a new album in 1991. The group still exists under that name to the present day, with Ron and his guitarist brother Ernie as the only two official members.

Marriages & Children:

Ronald was married to singer Angela Winbush from 1993 to 2002. Despite the 14-year age difference, they had two daughters together, whom they named Tawanna and Trenisha.
He married his second wife, background singer Kandy Johnson, in 2005. She is 35 years younger than he is. The couple's first child, Ron Jr., was born in 2007.

Health Problems & Prison Sentence:

Ron suffered a stroke in 2004 and although he eventually recovered from the health problems, in 2007 he was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 37 months in prison. Even though he was in his 60s at the time and had a history of health issues, including kidney failure, he served his full sentence and was released from custody in April 2010. Seven months later, he released a solo album, Mr. I.

Solo Discography:

2010: Mr. I
2003: Here I Am: Isley Meets Bacharach

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