Marvin Isley, 56, the bass player who helped give R&B powerhouse the Isley Brothers their distinctive sound, died Sunday at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, said hospital spokeswoman Catherine Gianaro. No cause of death was given.
Isley stopped performing in 1996 after suffering complications from diabetes that included a stroke, high blood pressure, the loss of both legs and use of his left hand.
Born Aug. 18, 1953, in Cincinnati, he joined his brothers' band in 1973. By that time, the group had established itself with hits like 1959's "Shout." Isley formed Isley-Jasper-Isley in the 1980s and returned to the Isley Brothers in the 1990s. The group, which had hits with "That Lady" and "Fight the Power" among others during Marvin's tenure, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Marvin Isley told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2001 that he regretted spending decades ignoring his diabetes.
"If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn't have happened," he said.
In 2000, he settled a lawsuit against his older siblings stemming from a dispute over money from the estate of his deceased older brother, O'Kelly Isley, and from a $7-million plagiarism award against Michael Bolton relating to the group's 1966 song "Love Is a Wonderful Thing."
-- Times staff and wire reports