Nicholas Caldwell of the hit-making R&B group The Whispers, has died at the age of 71. Sources report the cause of death as congestive heart failure. Leaveil Degree, long time member of the singing group said by phone; "Nicholas was like a brother to me. When I first joined the group we used to room together on the road and became very close friends. He will be greatly missed. The twins (Walter and Wallace Scott) are very distraught because they have been together for 50 years. It's like losing a family member."
Formed in the San Francisco Bay area in 1963, Caldwell was an original member of the group that included lead singers and twin brothers Walter and Wallace Scott, Marcus Hutson and Gordy Harmon. Their first top 10 R&B hit was in 1970 with “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong.” Degree replaced Harmon in 1972. Their 1980 album "The Whispers," was the group's first platinum selling LP, and included the disco hit, "And The Beat Goes On." The group also had an R&B and pop hit with producer Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds called "Rock Steady." Caldwell wrote some of their most popular ballads, such as fan-favorite, "Lady" and the hit, "Say Yes."