Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dies At Age 74
We have sadly lost so many incredible legends this year — and it’s only February. Yesterday (February 4), Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died at the age of 74 in his Los Angeles home. He stopped touring with the band in the ’90s, as he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The band, who melded the sounds of soul, funk, disc, pop and more into their music, was formed in the late ’60s and provided the joyous soundtrack to our family gatherings, beauty parlor sessions, graduations, weddings, BBQs, parties and our lives for decades. Earth, Wind & Fire’s music is timeless, and earned them six Grammys and an induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Their biggest hits included “Boogie Wonderland,” “Shining Star,” “September,” “After The Love Has Gone,” “Fantasy” and more. After the news of Maurice’s passing, the band tweeted: “Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning. The light is he, shining on you and me.” Other artists like Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, Cee-Lo and Queen Latifah tweeted tributes to Maurice.
Member Verdine White told the Associated Press in a statement,” My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”
The band is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Grammy Awards. Revisit a few of Earth, Wind & Fire’s influential singles in remembrance of Maurice White below.
Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning.
The light is he, shining on you and me. pic.twitter.com/ppWTHKUyG6
— Earth, Wind & Fire (@EarthWindFire) February 4, 2016
— Nile Rodgers (@nilerodgers) February 5, 2016
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
#MauriceWhite. King. Genius. Leader. Teacher. Producer. Arranger. Writer. Multi-instrumentalist. Motivator. Mystic. Through his music and artistic expression, he taught me a lifetime’s worth of knowledge. He is at the top of the list of all of the greatest masters. The music he left behind as Earth, Wind and Fire, mixed with his messages of love, will live on forever. #RIPMaurice #earthwindandfire
— ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) February 5, 2016
Thank You Maurice White for the Gift of Your Music! ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽!
— Queen Latifah (@IAMQUEENLATIFAH) 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
Maurice White, founding member of Earth, Wind and Fire, has died. Great music, energy, great spirit. The Lord must need a band up there.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 5, 2016