Singer Ronald Isley Accused of Cutting Older Brother Rudolph Isley Out of Legendary Musical Group’s Profits

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Rudolph Isley, an American musician, has filed a lawsuit against his younger brother Ronald Isley for revenues from the famed musical group’s trademarks.

Rudolph, 83, claimed in legal documents obtained by TMZ that Ronald, 81, engaged in business activities without his knowledge that could have lost him money.

Rudolph stated in the suit that Ronald successfully applied for the trademark to the term The Isley Brothers last summer and has since collected all proceeds.



Rudolph stated in court documents that he and his younger brother had agreed to split the band’s revenues equally since their brother and bandmate O’Kelly died of a heart attack in 1986.


According to Rudolph, his brother Ronald broke the agreement by obtaining the use of the name for ‘visual recordings and audiovisual recordings containing music and animation’ last August after registering in November 2021.

Rudolph stated that Ronald need his permission to secure the trademark, but he did not notify him about the arrangement ahead of time.

Prior to recent events, Rudolph stated that he and Ronald had been evenly dividing profits for decades, including multimillion dollar publishing deals.


Rudolph has requested the judge in the case to audit Ronald’s earnings since the change, and have him reimburse him for half of the amount.
He is also requesting the judge reinstate his 50 percent share in the group’s earnings.


The Cincinnati, Ohio-based group initially started out as a quartet with brother Vernon Isley, who died at the age of 13 in a 1955 car accident.
They continued with Ronald as lead singer and Rudolph and O’Kelly as backup singers.


The ensemble had hits such as 1959’s Shout, 1962’s Twist and Shout (later covered by the Beatles), 1966’s This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You), 1969’s It’s Your Thing, 1973’s That Lady and 1975’s Fight the Power.


The group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.

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