Obit

The O’Jays Bill Isles Dies

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. (CelebrityAccess) — Bill Isles, one of the founding members of the legendary R&B group The O’Jays, has died. He was 78.

His son, Duane Isles, confirmed his father’s passing to the The San Diego Union-Tribune, stating that Isles died in March after a battle with cancer.

Isles first launched the Mascots, the band that would become the O’Jays in 1558. The group was renamed The Triumphs and released a debut single in 1961 before they again changed names tot he O’Jays on the advice of Cleveland DJ Eddie O’Jay.

Isles scored early hits with the group, including “Lonely Drifter” and “Lipstick Traces” but parted ways with the group in 1965.

According to the Tribune, Duane Isles said his father later became a tour manager for the band during their heydey between 1971 and 1974.

“Isles was one of the most memorable, loving and consistently upbeat and talented individuals I have had the privilege of knowing,” said Mitchell, Isles pastor at New Venture Christian Fellowship told the Tribune. “He was a lover of music and a lover of God, and he combined both of those on stage in extraordinary fashion.”

Isles is survived by his wife, Laural, seven children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.