The O'Jays co-founder Bill Isles has died, aged 78

10 April 2019, 15:23 | Updated: 10 April 2019, 15:30

By Tom Eames

Bill Isles co-formed The O'Jays back in the late 1950s.

The original member of the chart-topping soul group died at his Southern California home at the age of 78.

His son Duane Isles confirmed that he died of cancer, and his funeral was held on Saturday (April 6).

The O'Jays
The O'Jays. Picture: Getty

Bill Isles and his childhood friends formed the Mascots in 1958, before changing the name to the Triumphs.

The band changed its name again to the O’Jays, after getting advice from a Cleveland DJ named Eddie O’Jay.

He featured on songs including 'Lonely Drifter' and 'Lipstick Traces' before he quit the group in 1965. He then became the band's tour manager between 1971 and 1974, when the group released its biggest hits, 'Love Train' and 'Back Stabbers'.

The O’Jays were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, but Isles was controversially not part of the inductees.

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