Looks like things are tense in the Isley family.
According to TMZ, Rudolph Isley is suing his brother Ronald over The Isley Brothers trademark. Rudolph is arguing Ronald went behind his back and made business transactions and cutting him out of a significant amount of money.
The lawsuit states Ronald applied and got approved for the trademark in his own name two years ago. He was awarded exclusive rights to all “visual recordings and audiovisual recordings featuring music and animation,” meaning he’s been collecting all of the group’s profits since 2021, Okayplayer reports.
Now, Rudolph wants his piece of the pie. He’s asking a judge to look into Ronald’s accounting to see how his money compares to Rudolph’s. He also wants half of everything Ronald has made since acquiring the trademark, TMZ’s report stated.
The 83-year-old alleges that he and his younger brother are supposed to split all of the band’s profits down the middle, including their bigger, multi-million dollar deals. They came up with this arrangement back in 1986, when their brother O’Kelly passed away. Rudolph says he went against that agreement when he applied for the trademark changes in 2021.
The plaintiff was an original member of The Isley Brothers and worked in music for more than four decades before retiring in 1989 to become a minister, per Okayplayer reports. The hit-making band took a brief hiatus after their brother Vernon, who was a part of the band, died in a car accident at 13 years old. They reformed sometime later— first as a trio, then later added their younger brothers Ernie and Marvin, and producer Chris Jasper. Marvin died in 2010, 25 years after O’Kelly.
The band’s current members are Ernie and Ronald. As a duo, they released Make Me Say It Again, Girl, their latest album, in 2022. The project features tons of major acts, including Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Quavo and Takeoff, who died shortly after it dropped.