It started in 1969.
Back then, Maurice White was just a 28-year-old musician with a dream; armed with an incredible talent as a drummer, producer and singer. After playing with the famed Muddy Waters and more, the Memphis native decided to create his own lane, formally founding Earth, Wind & Fire.
Boasting a nine-piece band that included two White brothers and a glorious horn section that would later influence an entire musical generate, the Grammy-winning group would find international success with hits like “September,” “Boogie Wonderland” and of course “Shining Star.” In 2000 their legacy would forever be cemented, after the group was officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To date, they’ve sold over 90 million albums.
Though Parkinson’s would later derail him from actively touring, the band kept the music going. Yet even in his absence, White’s influence and uncanny delivery helped create an impressive legacy that will undoubtedly endure. Now the man behind the music has passed in his Los Angeles home. He was 74.
“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” said brother and fellow member, Verdine White. He added, “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.”
Time goes on, but good music endures. Take a stroll down memory lane by checking out a few of Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest cuts.
Earth, Wind & Fire – “Shining Star”