Remembering the Legendary Maurice White

Friday, February 12, 2016 Written by 
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Tributes are still pouring in for Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, who passed away on Feb. 3.  The mastermind behind the legendary nine-piece band, whose music spans 4 decades, died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles, according to his brother Verdine.

 

Earth Wind & Fire sold more than 90 million albums for such hits as "September," “Shining Star" and "Boogie Wonderland.”

 

White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson's Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing.

 

Known for their distinctive horn section and concert performances packed with special effects, the group, featuring the two White brothers and singer Philip Bailey, won 7 Grammys and was nominated for 21.  The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and  was chosen to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Grammys, prior to White’s death, which airs live on Feb. 15.

 

The band's most successful period started with the 1975 album "That's The Way of The World" and continued through the rest of the decade. Other hits included "Reasons,” and “Serpentine Fire.”

 

According to White’s obituary, the band leader was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1941. He moved to Chicago when he was a teenager and did session work as a drummer for Chess Records. He played on records by notable artists including Etta James and Buddy Guy. He eventually joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio as their drummer. He then moved to Los Angeles with his brother, where his career skyrocketed.   

 

Memorial arrangements are being made by E. Vaughn Wray Funeral Establishment in Norfolk, VA  for February 11.   Fans can post comments or send a sympathy card to the Earth, Wind & Fire website:  http://www.earthwindandfire.com/contact or http://www.herbwalker.com/obituaries/Maurice-White-3.

 

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