Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died at the age of 67.
The sad news was shared by his 71-year-old brother Verdine White – who was a founder and bassist on Earth, Wind & Fire – on Sunday on social media.
Fred’s cause of death was not disclosed.
The band Earth, Wind & Fire, which thrived during the 1970s and 1980s and continued to tour for decades afterwards, was responsible for the hit songs September, Shining Star and After The Love Is Gone.
Earth, Wind & Fire has sold over 90 million records and is considered one of the most successful bands of all time. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Sad goodbye: One of the members of the 1970s band Earth, Wind & Fire – which was responsible for the hit songs September and After The Love Is Gone – has passed away. On Sunday it was posted that the eclectic band’s drummer Fred White had died at the age of 67
‘Dearest Family Friends and Fans….. Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene “Freddie” White,’ he wrote.
He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels! Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old! He was brother number 4 in the family lineup,’ it was added.
White was called a ‘wonderful bro’ who was ‘always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!’
A high point: The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000; seen in 1972
Then the note said: ‘And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light hearted!’
The musician added: ‘He will live in our hearts forever, rest in power beloved Freddie!! We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Soar high baby bro, we love you to the shining [stars] and back!’
Fred was born in Chicago and started touring as early as age 15 for a band called The Salty Peppers. The Salty Peppers turned into Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974.
The band had a number of successes in the 1970s and the 1980s with one of their top songs being the up tempo dance hit Shining Star.
The look: Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the most dynamic bands to come out of the 1970s as they had several hit songs that included jazz, R&B, soul, funk, disco and pop. The band was founded in Chicago in 1969 by Maurice White. Seen in 1960
Lenny Kravitz shared a tribute on Instagram: ‘Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and the family. I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power.’
Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the most dynamic bands to come out of the 1970s as they had several hit songs that included jazz, R&B, soul, funk, disco and pop.
The band was founded in Chicago in 1969 by Maurice White and they went by the name the Salty Peppers; their first hit was La La Time but it was not a chart topper.
But when they moved to Los Angeles he had better luck as he added Sherry Scott and Yackov Ben Israel.
Early days: His pals started the band. From left, Lorry Dunn, Andrew and Philip Bailey in 1972
The self-titled album that came out in 1971 made waves and The Need Of Love came next with a jazzy feel.
In 1972, the founders shook up the band adding vocalist Helena Davis, Ronnie Laws on the flute and saxophone, rhythm guitarist Roland Bautista, keyboardist Larry Dunn, vocalist Philip Bailey and percussionist Ralph Johnson to the group. Davis was replaced by Jessica Cleaves.
Then later Andrew stepped in to replace Laws.
The band had a new sound that made it come together.
And it was EW&F’s fourth studio album, Head to the Sky, from 1973 that finally gained some traction.
That’s the Way of the World in 1975 went to No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top Soul Albums charts thanks to the singles Shining Star and That’s the Way of the World.
The band has morphed over the decades with more disco then a mire electric sound. Their last album was The Classic Christmas Album from 2015.
Sad loss: In April, Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk passed away at the age of 71. Seen in the 1980s in the Netherlands
In April, Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk passed away at the age of 71.
The artist died after he spent the past six years battling an illness, the band’s lead falsetto singer Philip Bailey shared on Instagram.
The musician was one of the original members of the band and helped them create some of the biggest hit songs of the 1970s.
Bailey shared on Instagram: ‘I met him in High School, and we quickly became friends and band mates. Andrew Paul Woolfolk was his name. We lost him today.’
He had talent: The musician was one of the original members of the band and helped them create some of the biggest hit songs of the 1970s, including September, Boogie Wonderland and Shining Star; seen in 1982
With a pal on stage: Andrew, right, with Maurice White, left in 1982
He then said: ‘Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski… I’ll see you on the other side, my friend.’
EW&F Drummer John Paris shared on Instagram: ‘Rest well brother Andrew [prayer and heart emojis].’
Woolfolk also worked on the hit songs Reasons, Let’s Groove, That’s the Way of the World, Sing a Song, Fantasy, and After the Love Has Gone.
During his long career, Andrew also collaborated with artists Deniece Williams, Phil Collins and Stanley Turrentine.
In the late Eighties Woolfolk took a break from Earth, Wind & Fire but then joined up with them again to perform and tour after the millennium.
More recent: (L-R) Ralph Johnson, Verdine White and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire perform at Shoreline Amphitheater in 1999
The band must go on: (L-R) Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson of the band Earth, Wind & Fire attend the Clive Davis 90th Birthday Celebration at Casa Cipriani on April 6, 2022 in New York City