Notable Deaths ›

Bill Isles (1941 - 2019), co-founder of legendary R&B group The O’Jays

Image via Facebook

Featured on the song “Lipstick Traces”

Bill Isles was one of the original members of soul music hit-makers The O’Jays. He formed a singing group called the Mascots with friends in his hometown of Canton, Ohio, in 1958. They changed their name to the Triumphs and released their first single in 1961. In 1963, they changed their name to The O’Jays and released a successful single in 1965 titled “Lipstick Traces.” Shortly after, Isles left the group and would get married. The O’Jays went on to greater fame in the 1970s with the hit songs “Back Stabbers” and “Love Train.”

We invite you to share condolences for Bill Isles in our Guest Book.

Details of death: Died from cancer at the age of 78, his son Duane Isles confirmed.


Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.


What they said about him: "Isles was one of the most memorable, loving and consistently upbeat and talented individuals I have had the privilege of knowing. "He was a lover of music and a lover of God, and he combined both of those on stage in extraordinary fashion." –Shawn Mitchell, the pastor at Isle’s church New Venture Christian Fellowship, said to the Los Angeles Times

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

Related Lives:

R&B stars video gallery

Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018), the “Queen of Soul”

Sam Cooke, King of Soul