Musician Maurice White, who founded the Grammy Award winning band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died. He was 74.
White died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home after battling Parkinson’s disease for over 2 decades.
White founded Earth, Wind & Fire in Chicago in 1969. The talented musicians included his brothers Verdine White and Fred White, who joined the band in 1974.
White shared lead vocals with Phillip Bailey, whose soaring falsetto and unique vocal range stands out on “Reasons” and “Devotion”.
Aa the band’s charismatic bandleader, White produced most of their albums, earning the group six Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards.
EW&F sold 90 million records worldwide.
White co-wrote the band’s biggest hits, including the #1 single “Shining Star”; “Reasons”, “Boogie Wonderland”, “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “That’s the Way of the World”, “September“, “After the Love Has Gone”, and many more.
White stopped touring with the band after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1994.
Celebrities and fellow musicians paid tribute to White on Twitter.com:
Thoughts & prayers with the family of our dear brother Maurice White. Your contributions to music will be kept in our hearts & souls 4ever.
— Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) February 5, 2016
Rest well master Maurice White. Your work was well done & you earned & deserve eternal peace. With all my love Ceelo pic.twitter.com/gOPcmQw000
— CeeLo Green (@CeeLoGreen) February 5, 2016
— MC HAMMER (@MCHammer) February 5, 2016
Thank you Maurice White for creating some of the greatest soul funk and R&B music of all time. GRATITUDE.
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) February 5, 2016
— Holly Robinson Peete (@hollyrpeete) February 5, 2016
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) February 5, 2016
Fly On Maurice White https://t.co/gUAmKB9vtI
— George Clinton (@george_clinton) February 5, 2016
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) February 5, 2016
Thank you Maurice White for being the architect that put together such an incredible band! @EarthWindFire
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) February 5, 2016
Deeply saddened by the loss of the legendary Maurice White. @EarthWindFire forever!
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) February 5, 2016
My Heart is saddened by the loss of my dear friend Maurice White. I love you. Heaven is singing! pic.twitter.com/4e20M1Nf1r
— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) February 5, 2016
Maurice White. I listened to you ever single day at my mothers hair salon, & I didn't understand what you made me feel, but you were a hero.
— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) February 5, 2016
#MauriceWhite R.I.P I know you're up in Boogie Wonderland!Condolences to his friends and family
— Debi Mazar (@debimazar) February 5, 2016
— Traci Braxton (@TraciBraxton) February 4, 2016
R.I.P the great Maurice White. "You can't hide love " EWF. pic.twitter.com/gWk2p5lZR4
— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) February 4, 2016
Thank you for the music, Maurice White! May you rest in peace!
— Keith Sweat (@OGKeithSweat) February 4, 2016
— Gerald Albright (@GAAlbright) February 4, 2016
"Maurice White", legend, pioneer, life long friend. Our condolences to the White family & friends. Share yr… https://t.co/tiLi8hf2Nn
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) February 4, 2016
Damn all of my Heroes are moving on…. EWF was the blueprint for tribe … R.I.P. To the genius that was Maurice White
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) February 4, 2016
Rest in Peace Mr Maurice White. #EarthWindAndFire condolences to the family.
— Estelle (@EstelleDarlings) February 4, 2016