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Maurice White (1941 - 2016)

Getty Images / Photo by Michael Putland

Maurice White (1941 - 2016)

Maurice White, the founder and leader of the legendary R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, has died at the age of 74, according to multiple news sources.

White died at home in Los Angeles on Wednesday, said his brother, Verdine White. Maurice was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 1992 but his condition deteriorated in recent months, reports TMZ.

Maurice White was the band's main songwriter and record producer, and was co-lead singer along with Philip Bailey. White won a total of seven Grammys, and was nominated for 21 Grammys in total. He is also a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


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He was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1941. He moved to Chicago when he was a teenager and did session work as a drummer for Chess Records. He played on records by notable artists including Etta James and Buddy Guy. He eventually joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio as their drummer. He then moved to Los Angeles where he formed the band Earth, Wind & Fire.

Earth, Wind & Fire has sold over 100 million records. The many hit songs by the band include "September", "Shining Star", and "That's the Way of the World."

Earth, Wind & Fire tweeted this tribute:

Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning.

The light is he, shining on you and me.

We invite you to share condolences for Maurice White in our Guest Book.

Related: A Winter of Deaths in the Music World