Earth, Wind & Fire

DuranDuran

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Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dies at 74
by Oliver Gettell • Entertainment Weekly • Posted February 4 2016 — 6:20 PM EST
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Maurice White, the singer, songwriter, musician, producer, and founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in his sleep Wednesday night at his home in Los Angeles. He was 74.

His brother and band mate Verdine White confirmed the news on the EWF Facebook page, calling White “my brother, hero and best friend.” 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.”

White, who battled Parkinson’s disease for several decades, was a driving force behind Earth, Wind & Fire. He helped compose such hits as “September,” “Shining Star,” and “Let’s Groove,” and won six Grammys with the band. He also picked up a seventh on his own, for arranging “Got to Get You Into My Life.”

White was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of EWF, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame as an individual.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Maurice “Reese” White studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and got his professional start as a session drummer in the early 1960s. He formed his own band, the Salty Peppers, in 1969, but changed the name to Earth, Wind & Fire and switched up the lineup after making his way to Los Angeles. Verdine White joined the group as a bassist, and their brother Fred White also worked with the band in the ’70s and early ’80s.

Incorporating elements of R&B, jazz, funk, soul, pop, and African music, EWF would go on to sell more than 90 million albums worldwide.

White publicly revealed he had Parkinson’s in 2000, after being diagnosed eight years earlier.
 

SheilaMJFan4Ever

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Maurice (and EWF) played such a huge part in my life growing up and to this day. EWF's message, along with that killer horn section infused with sounds from Africa, is what made them a force to be reckoned with for decades. Maurice's smooth baritone and beautiful songwriting made it easy to fall in love with him and the band.

I'm grateful that he was still active with the band (behind the scenes) after the Parkinson's disease forced him to retire from touring with them. Earth Wind & Fire was his baby and his joy.

Rest in Peace, Maurice... :heart: :cry: :boohoo:
 

DuranDuran

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Terry and I met in 1972 over the <a href="https://twitter.com/EarthWindFire">@EarthWindFire</a> Last Days and Time LP. Literally the soundtrack of our life. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash">#RIP</a> <a href="https://t.co/qyQW0NeXjH">https://t.co/qyQW0NeXjH</a></p>&mdash; Jimmy Jam (@flytetymejam) <a href="https://twitter.com/flytetymejam/status/695382924766515201">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RIP Maurice White. Thank you for the amazing grooves and vocals.</p>&mdash; Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) <a href="https://twitter.com/bryanadams/status/695387095720861696">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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DuranDuran

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thoughts &amp; prayers with the family of our dear brother Maurice White. Your contributions to music will be kept in our hearts &amp; souls 4ever.</p>&mdash; Quincy Jones (@QuincyDJones) <a href="https://twitter.com/QuincyDJones/status/695413873243893763">February 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">RIP Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Maurice White. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShiningStar?src=hash">#ShiningStar</a> <a href="https://t.co/27oyfdGUfA">https://t.co/27oyfdGUfA</a></p>&mdash; Rock Hall (@rock_hall) <a href="https://twitter.com/rock_hall/status/695387567114448897">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">This world just got a lot less soulful. RIP Maurice</p>&mdash; Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) <a href="https://twitter.com/Diane_Warren/status/695392697440301060">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;Maurice White&quot;, legend, pioneer, life long friend. Our condolences to the White family &amp; friends. Share yr... <a href="https://t.co/tiLi8hf2Nn">https://t.co/tiLi8hf2Nn</a></p>&mdash; Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bootsy_Collins/status/695393171690291204">February 4, 2016</a></blockquote>
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DuranDuran

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">On a set where we just got the sad news. Maurice White! Founder of EARTH, WIND AND FIRE. His genius was the soundtrack of my college years.</p>&mdash; Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) <a href="https://twitter.com/ArsenioHall/status/695397959878340608">February 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Another gift has gone on....grateful we will always be, for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MauriceWhite?src=hash">#MauriceWhite</a>&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/blessings?src=hash">#blessings</a> in song. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EarthWindAndFire?src=hash">#EarthWindAndFire</a> <a href="https://t.co/Cs2LPxmhXy">pic.twitter.com/Cs2LPxmhXy</a></p>&mdash; Kim Fields (@KimVFields) <a href="https://twitter.com/KimVFields/status/695418003001708546">February 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rest in Peace Mr. Maurice White. <a href="https://twitter.com/EarthWindFire">@EarthWindFire</a> is one of the greatest groups ever assembled. Thanks for the memories &amp; the inspiration.</p>&mdash; Sir Mix-A-Lot (@therealmix) <a href="https://twitter.com/therealmix/status/695401334896328710">February 5, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Silouette

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Aw man. I gasped when I saw this on the MSN page.
Even tho I knew he was ill, it's still a shock when you learn of the death of someone
you admire and enjoy listening to their works. I grew up listening to and jammin' to EWF. And still do.
So many great songs for so long. Thank you for sharing your awesome talenst with us.
Rest in peace Maurice White.

 

#MJforever57

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Love this tread thank you for stared it.

Rest in peace Maurice you will be miss.

 
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Another great artist gone:-(
One of my favourite songs by EWF was Boogie Wonderland.
RIP Maurice.
 

DuranDuran

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Flea

Flea: Maurice White and the great earth wind and fire were a massive influence on me and represented my highest aspirations for the red hot chili peppers. First Bowie, now Maurice. The only other pop culture musicians that affected me as deeply as a kid were George Clinton pfunk, led Zeppelin, and Stevie wonder. In my junior high school the white kids loved Zeppelin, the black kids loved p funk, the freaky kids loved Bowie, but EVERYONE loved Earth Wind and Fire. They were just undeniable. Old people loved em, kids loved em, every race and economic class loved em. They just crossed every line with the power of incredible music and amazing performances. You could dance to em you could rock out to em and you romance to em. My dream for the red hots was that we would be able to make music that would be for everybody, and we have always reached for that. Earth wind and fire set that standard for me. Maurice was a humble and powerful man who gave me something to aspire to and I am so grateful for him. He showed me the shining star he was a beautiful gift to us. Thank you Maurice I love you, you have broken through to the other side you have been let in on the big mystery. R.I.P.
 

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The late Grammy-winning founder of the legendary pop/R&B/soul/funk/disco group tells his story and charts the rise of his legendary band in this sincere memoir that captures the heart and soul of an artist whose groundbreaking sound continues to influence music today. With an introduction by Steve Harvey and a foreword by David Foster.

"To the readers of this book you need to know that EW&F is simply the greatest living group in my lifetime. No one put together lyrics to a melody like they did; no one put harmony to sound and rhythm like they did; no one added horns in the way that they did and no one, but no one messed with our minds about love and life like they did. . . . EARTH because they grow on you; WIND because it moves you in one loving direction and FIRE because they consume your heart in a single flame of love."—Steve Harvey

With its dynamic horns, contrasting vocals, and vivid stage shows, Earth, Wind & Fire was one of the most popular acts of the late twentieth century—the band "that changed the sound of black pop" (Rolling Stone)—and its music continues to inspire modern artists including Usher, Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, and Outkast. At last, the band’s founder, Maurice White, shares the story of his success.

White reflects on the great blessings music has brought to his life and the struggles he’s endured: his mother leaving him behind in Memphis when he was four; learning to play the drums with Booker T. Jones; moving to Chicago at eighteen and later Los Angeles after leaving the Ramsey Lewis Trio; forming EWF, only to have the original group fall apart; working with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond; his diagnosis of Parkinson’s; and his final public performance with the group at the 2006 Grammy Awards. Through it all, White credits his faith for his amazing success and guidance in overcoming his many challenges.

My Life with Earth Wind, and Fire is an intimate, moving, and beautiful memoir from a man whose creativity and determination carried him to great success, and whose faith enabled him to savor every moment.
 

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I have just become super into EWS and listening to a lot of their songs - a lot I didn't know, but there were quite a few I just never realised they sang.

'September' is one of my fave songs and my and my fiance have just picked it to play at our wedding (after the ceremony for when we walk back down the aisle).
 
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