Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White dies at 67
Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died aged 67.
White’s brother and bandmate Verdine shared the tragic news in an Instagram post on Sunday, but did not reveal the drummer’s date of death or cause of death.
Verdine, 71, wrote a lengthy tribute to her star brother, saying, “Our family is saddened today by the loss of an incredible and talented family member. Our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White .
“He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!” Verdine continued. “He was the wonderful brother who was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous! And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation easier.
White began his musical career at the age of 14, joining the band The Salty Peppers. He started playing drums with Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974.
At the time, White’s brother Verdine played bass in Earth, Wind & Fire, while their older half-brother Maurice was a singer-songwriter.
The band’s funky combination of R&B, soul and disco pop defined the sound of the 70s, with hit songs such as “September”, “Shining Star” and “Let’s Groove”.
White left the group in the early 1980s, but returned for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000
Over the decades, Earth, Wind & Fire has won six Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards.
White has also played drums on recordings for Bonnie Raitt, Donny Hathaway, Deniece Williams and Diana Ross. He last appeared on Ross’ comeback album, “Thank You,” which was released last year.
Meanwhile, a slew of celebrities have responded to Verdine’s Instagram post, including rocker Lenny Kravitz.
“I send 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 commented Kravitz.
Fans of the band also chimed in with comments saying how much White meant to them.
“I remember when as a kid I used to take my mother’s pots and pans and turn them upside down and use them as drums,” one wrote. “I used to look in album covers, look at African American kings…I was so inspired. Mr. Fred White is the reason I returned these pots and pans.
“With so much love and respect, I sent my deepest condolences to you and your family,” the heartbroken fan continued. “May you rest in peace, Mr. Fred White.”