Nicholas Caldwell, one of the founding members of R&B Soul group The Whispers has died after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 71. Caldwell had only announced his battle with cancer last July.

For over a quarter century, Caldwell and The Whispers made countless hits that landed on the R&B charts including “Keep On Loving Me”, “And The Beat Goes On”, “Rock Steady”, “My Girl”, “Caravan Of Love” and more. After he left the group, Caldwell dedicated his life to the ministry and became a man of faith. During an episode of TV One’s Unsung, Caldwell recanted his wilder, younger days within the group alongside his wife.

Founded in the 1960s in Watts, California, The Whispers, composed of twin brothers Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson and Leaveil Degree (who replaced departing member Gordy Harmon in 1973), the group first recorded for Los Angeles based Dore Records with their first hit, “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong” coming in 1970. Their slow ascent to the top of the charts continued with hit records on former Soul Train producer Dick Griffey’s SOLAR Records label. Beginning in 1980 with “And The Beat Goes On”, The Whispers scored multiple hits including the Caldwell penned “Lady” and “A Song For Donny”, a tribute to late singer Donny Hathway.

Success continued for Caldwell in the group for the rest of the decade with “It’s A Love Thing”, “Keep On Loving Me”, and the Babyface written “Rock Steady” which became their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the R&B charts and #7 on the Billboard charts.

Caldwell’s legacy in soul music will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace. Celebrate his memory by revisiting classic videos from The Whispers including “Keep On Loving Me”, “And The Beat Goes On” and “Rock Steady”