NEW YORK (AP) — Maurice White, the founder and leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, has died.
White died at home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, said his brother, Verdine White. He was 74.
“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” his brother Verdine White, told the Associated Press. “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.”
A former session drummer, White founded Earth, Wind & Fire in the late 1960s. The group went on to sell more than 90 million albums worldwide, displaying a flashy and eclectic musical style that incorporated his influences from growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, and working at the influential Chicago music labels Chess and Okeh.
The band’s many hits included “September,” ”Shining Star,” a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You into My Life” and “Boogie Wonderland.” Earth, Wind & Fire won six Grammys and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
The music world, who also lost a pioneering hip-hop deejay this week with the death of Big Kap, and EW&F fans worldwide tweeted out their grief.