Oh no! The music world has lost another great pioneer with the passing of Earth Wind and Fire founding member Maurice White. He lost a long battle with Parkinson’s disease and died in his sleep on Feb. 4.
Devastating news! Maurice White, who founded the legendary R&B and funk band Earth Wind and Fire has left us. He helped found the group in Chicago, IL with his brother Verdine way back in 1969, and his amazing vocals are highlighted on classic hits such as “Shining Star,” “September, ” “After the Love has Gone” and “Boogie Wonderland.” Tell us you’ve never danced your butt off to some of their songs! The band made their way though so many genres of amazing music, and their songs still have a totally jammin’ feel even to this day!
Sadly, Maurice was diagnosed in 1992 with Parkinson’s disease and his condition deteriorated in recent months. The disease had progressed to the point he made the decision to stop touring with the band 1994, and was replaced on lead vocals by Philip Bailey, but he remained active in the band’s decisions as their founder and leader.
Maurice originally formed the band in Chicago back in 1969, but quickly realized they needed to head west to L.A. if they really wanted to make the big time. Initial success came quickly as the band released two albums in 1971 to critical acclaim, but it wasn’t until 1975’s That’s the Way of the World when Earth, Wind & Fire finally had their breakthrough album. It spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Pop Albums Chart and produced their iconic hit “Shining Star.” That song is till played at tons of wedding receptions even today! Pick up Earth Wind & Fire’s Greatest Hits by clicking here.
While EWF has gone through many different members over the years, they’ve always been able to successfully tour based on their classic hits and high energy live shows. The band even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and during the ceremony to dedicate it, Maurice attributed all of EWF’s decades of success to the massive support of all of their fans.
Our thoughts go out to Maurice’s family, friends and band members and their millions of fans.