Fred White, drummer for the band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died : NPR

Fred White, the drummer for the band that defined the era and defied the Earth, Wind & Fire genre, has died at the age of 67, his brother and the band announced on social media.

“Today our family is deeply saddened by the passing of a wonderful and talented family member, beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White,” brother and bandmate of he wrote. Verdine White on Instagram on Sunday. No cause of death has yet to be released.

Fred White was born in 1955 in Chicago into a family of musicians, with two older brothers, Verdine and Maurice White. He showed a talent for playing the drums from an early age – a “honey pupil”, says brother Verdine – and even as a teenager he had success playing the drums in Chicago for plays including: including Donny Hathaway.

“At home and in real life he is a great brother, always cheerful and delightfully mischievous,” his brother wrote. “We can always count on him to make a seemingly dire situation easier.”

In 1970, Maurice moved to Los Angeles and founded Earth, Wind & Fire, and Verdine joined a few months later.

A few years later, they persuaded their younger brother to join the group as the lead drummer.

Fred White continued to play drums for the funk-soul-disco-R&B fusion band during its heyday through the mid-1980s, including six consecutive Earth, Wind & Fire albums that reached the top 10 of the decade. record on Billboard pop chart.

His tight and energetic rhythm formed the backbone of hits like “Shining Star,” “Let’s Groove,” and — of course — the enduring megahit “September,” which peaked at number 8. on the leaderboard. billboards Hot 100 when it was released and has nearly 1.2 billion streams on Spotify.

Fred White left the band in the mid-1980s, although he continued to perform with other groups for many years. In 2000, Earth Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, of which Fred was a member.


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