Isley Brothers Bassist Marvin Isley Dead At 56

Marvin co-wrote 'Fight the Power' with his brothers in 1975.

Marvin Isley, bass player for the legendary funk band the [artist id="9827"]Isley Brothers[/artist], died of undisclosed causes in Chicago on Monday (June 7) at age 56, according to the Chicago Tribune's ChicagoNow.com blog.

Marvin Isley was not a member of the original band comprising older brothers O'Kelly Jr., Rudolph and Ronald, who scored hits with the songs "Twist and Shout," "It's Your Thing" and "Shout." Marvin joined the group in 1973 along with brother Ernie and brother-in-law Chris Jasper.

The new six-member lineup debuted with 1973's 3+3, which contained such AM soul classics as "That Lady,  Pt. 1 & 2" and "What It Comes Down To."

The group continued to have chart success throughout the decade with hit songs like "Fight the Power" and "Between the Sheets," many of which were co-written by Marvin and the other two younger members. Marvin, Ernie and Jasper split off in 1984 to form Isley-Jasper-Isley, which met with modest success. They eventually returned to the fold to play with the Isley Brothers between 1991 and 1997, at which point O'Kelly had died of a cancer-related heart attack and Rudolph had left to work in the ministry.

The group has been on hiatus since 1997, when Marvin was forced to retire from playing due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in a double amputation of his legs. Ron later went to prison for tax evasion.

Born on August 18, 1953, Marvin first began playing with his brothers in the late 1960s and is credited with bringing a funkier, younger vibe to the group on several songs that have been heavily sampled by hip-hop artists such as Ice Cube and Jim Jones, including "Fight the Power" and "For the Love of You." Along with his siblings, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.