The Isley Brothers and Earth Wind & Fire verzuz music battle gave us a special Easter Sunday treat to remember on April 4th. Each legendary group showed up ready to reflect on their decades of success and present to us hit after hit after hit.
Special guest host Steve Harvey hosted the Easter show while the two iconic groups performed their songs and told some stories. It closed with a huge match-up, “That Lady” versus “September,” before a video for the Isleys’ new Snoop Dogg–featuring song “Friends & Family” premiered.
One of the highlights of the night wasn’t just the music, it was actually the Ron Isley sexy vibes he was giving off. The 79-year-old was looking real smooth and proved that his love ballads weren’t the only things that could get the ladies going. His distinguished gray beard and cool, granddaddy vibes had ladies in social media talking about his apparent sexiness.
“Ron Isley is the star of every one of my groupchats right now,” actress Gabrielle Union wrote. “Folks ready to risk it alllllllll.”
In one viral post, fans were reminded that Isley’s handsomeness crosses generational lines. “Ron Isley is an old ohio player who turns 80 next month,” tweeted Brandon Caldwell. “…and has you, your aunt, your mom and maybe your granny depending on generation wanting to throw panny drawls his way tonight.”
Isley was married to R&B great Angela Winbush for almost a decade, then found the love again in his background singer, Kandy Johnson, also known for the duo JS (Johnson Sisters).
After knowing each other for a little while, the pair decided to tie the knot in September 2005. Kandy was 28 and Ron was 64. That 35+ year age difference started people talking, but Kandy quickly shut down any “gold-digging” rumors.
Defending their relationship
She defended her romance and marriage explaining why she fell in love with him.
“[Ron Isley] is a GENTLEMAN! I mean, you’re talking about romance, he puts the ‘R’ in romance… from fine dining to treating a woman like a man should, with respect. As we developed a relationship, we had a lot of things in common and Ronald… even though he’s older, he’s young at heart.”
Kandy is mom to the couple’s only son, Ron Isley Jr who will be 14 this year.
In April 2010, Ron was finally released and, from that point on, he has been living a very good life with his family avoiding legal problems and enjoying the time with his son, who is 12 years old nowadays.
With 1983’s, “Between the Sheets”, a response to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”, the band’s mastery of the form is on full display. In a 2013 interview with Ebony Magazine, Ron Isley said, “At the time, Marvin Gaye had ‘Sexual Healing’ out, and it was such a hit. I was talking to him on the phone one day and I was like, ‘Hey man, wait until you hear ‘Between the Sheets’. I said, ‘Wegoing to knock ‘Sexual Healing’ off.’ We just laughed. We were very competitive in those days. Somebody like Teddy Pendergrass would do ‘Close the Door’ or ‘Turn Off the Lights’, and we’d do something like ‘Don’t Say Goodnight.’”
Music historian Nelson George might have summed it up best when he wrote “When people talk about Sam, Marvin, Otis and Al as the greatest male soul me, folks forget Ron Isley because he was in a group. His vocal range, distinctiveness and sensuality are amazing. Dude is a peer of Sam Cooke and still sounds good!”
As we look back over the 4-hour, 25-round iconic battle, here are some of the most memorable rounds:
Isley Brothers – Hello It’s Me
Earth, Wind & Fire – Keep Your Head to the Sky
Isley Brothers – At Your Best (You Are Love)
Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons
Isley Brothers – Groove With You
(List continues below)
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