Death of Fred White, drummer of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, at the age of 67
Steph Deschamps / January 3, 2023
The American drummer Fred White, of the funk group Earth, Wind & Fire died at the age of 67, announced Monday his brother and a former member of the musical group.
Born in 1955 in Chicago (Illinois, north), White had started playing drums at a young age. During his career, he won six Grammy Awards with the legendary funk band formed in 1969 by his brother, Maurice White, who died in 2016. "Our family is saddened today by the loss of an incredible and talented family member," wrote another of his brothers, Verdine White, in a post on Instagram, recalling that he had "gold records from the age of 16...!"
Earth, Wind & Fire quickly rose to prominence in the 1970s, becoming one of the first to break down racial taboos in pop music, and enjoyed tremendous success in both the white and African-American communities. In 1979, the group was the first African-American band to perform to a sold-out crowd at New York's prestigious Madison Square Garden.
On the band's official Instagram page, a video was posted of White performing a drum solo at a 1979 concert in Germany accompanied by the message "Rest in Love." He went on to work with other artists, including soul singer Deniece Williams.
White, as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
The band was known not only for its songs, but also for its high-energy shows, with a strong presence of horns and a kalimba, an African percussion instrument made of metal flakes.
Without ever having completely left the scene, the group experienced a resurgence of notoriety after the election of President Barack Obama, who invited them to be among the first artists to perform after he entered the White House in 2009.