Nicholas Caldwell, co-founder and singer with the California R&B group The Whispers, has died. He was 71.

Willette Ballard, a representative for the group, said Caldwell died Tuesday of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home.

Formed in the San Francisco Bay area in 1963, Caldwell was an original member of the group that included 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." Their first album to go platinum was "The Whispers" in 1980. It included the disco hit, "And The Beat Goes On."

Caldwell also penned some of their songs, including the fan favorite "Lady."

The group also had an R&B and pop hit "Rock Steady" with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds.