Earth, Wind & Fire's Maurice White Has Died
He was 74
By Zoe Camp on February 4, 2016 at 5:50 p.m. EST
Maurice White, co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, has died. TMZ reports that White died in his sleep Thursday morning following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 74.
Born in Tennessee, White moved to Chicago in his teens and got his start drumming for the Ramsey Lewis Trio (he appeared on nine of the band's records). In 1969, he founded the Salty Peppers with Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead. They subsequently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles, signed to Warner Bros., and changed their name to Earth, Wind & Fire. They released their self-titled debut in 1971.
White played a key role over the course of EWF's decades-long career, writing and producing such successful albums as 1975's That's the Way of the World, 1977's All 'N All, 1980's Faces, and more. Several years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the late '80s, White stopped touring with the band, but remained active as a composer and producer for not only EWF, but also Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand, the Urban Knights, and many more.
In addition to his work with EWF and as a producer, White released one solo album: 1985's Maurice White.