Born: May 21, 1941
Place of Birth: Cincinnati, OH
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Career and Life
Ronald Isley aka Mr. Biggs is an American recording artist, songwriter, record producer, and occasional actor. Isley is best known as the lead singer and founding member of the family music group The Isley Brothers.
Born to Sallye Bernice (née Bell) and O'Kelly Isley Sr, Isley was the third of six brothers (O'Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald, Vernon Isley, Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley). Ronald, like many of his siblings, began his career in the church. Isley began singing at the age of two, winning a $25 war bond for singing at a spiritual contest at the Union Baptist Church. By the age of seven, Isley was singing on-stage at venues such as the Regal Theater in Chicago, alongside Dinah Washington and a few other notables.
By his early teens, Isley was singing regularly with his brothers in church tours and also first appeared on TV on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour. In 1957, 16-year-old Isley and his two elder brothers O'Kelly and Rudy then 19 and 18 moved to New York to pursue a music career. While in New York, Isley and his brother began recording doo-wop for local labels before landing a major deal with RCA Records in 1959; where the trio wrote and released their anthemic "Shout". By the summer of 1959, the Isley family had moved from Cincinnati to a home in Englewood, New Jersey.
For much of the Isley Brothers' duration, Isley would remain the group's consistent member of the group as well as the lead vocalist for most of the group's tenure with sporadic lead shares with his older brothers. In 1969, Isley reformed T-Neck Records with his brothers in a need to produce themselves without the control of record labels, forming the label shortly after ending a brief tenure with Motown. In 1973, the group's style and sound drastically changed following the release of the 3 + 3 album where brothers Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley and in-law Chris Jasper permanently enter the brothers' lineup, writing the music and lyrics to the group's new sound. The younger brothers had been providing instrumental help for the brothers since the late 1960s. By the mid-1970s, Isley was living in Teaneck, New Jersey.
After Kelly Isley's death in 1986 and Rudy Isley's exit to fulfill a dream of ministry in 1989, Ronald has carried on with the Isley Brothers name either as a solo artist or with accompanying help from the group's younger brothers, much more prominently, Ernie Isley. In 1990, Isley scored a top-ten duet with Rod Stewart with a cover of his brothers' hit "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)", and in 2003 Ronald recorded a solo album, Here I Am: Bacharach Meets Isley, with Burt Bacharach. In addition, Ron Isley became a sought-after hook singer for R&B veteran R. Kelly, and hip-hop acts such as Warren G, 2Pac and UGK. Ronald released his first solo album Mr. I on November 30, 2010. The album includes the first single "No More" It debuted at number 50 on the Billboard 200, selling 22,243 copies. It was his first solo album to crack that chart.
In 2010, Isley received a "Legend Award" at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 2013, Ronald released his second solo album This Song Is For You sign labels eOne. The album includes the first single "Dinner and A Movie". Second single, Premiere Song "My Favorite Thing" wrote, features and produced singer, Kem. Ronald received a nominees Independent R&B/Soul Artist Performance, at the Soul Train Music Awards. In 2014, Ronald made a cameo appearance in the music video for Kendrick Lamar song "i".
Ronald Isley married Margret Tinsley in 1960 and in 1969 their daughter Tia Isley was born
In 1993, Isley married singer Angela Winbush in Los Angeles, California. They quietly divorced in early 2002. When Winbush received chemotherapy following her ovarian cancer diagnosis, Isley was by her side giving her his support in her recovery.
In 2004, while in London, Isley suffered a mild stroke, which halted an Isley Brothers tour there. In September 2005, he married background singer Kandy Johnson (of the duo JS/Johnson Sisters).Their son, Ronald Isley, Jr. was born in December 2007. In 2007, it was reported Isley had kidney problems. Isley still resides in St. Louis.