Fred White, Drummer of Earth, Wind & Fire, Dies at 67

Fred White, Drummer of Earth, Wind & Fire, Dies at 67

“He joins his brothers Maurice, Monte, and Ronald in heaven,” Verdine White, his brother and bandmate wrote.

Fred White

Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White performing onstage.

Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Fred White, the former drummer of Earth, Wind & Fire, has died. He was 67.

The percussionist’s brother and bandmate Verdine White shared the sad news through social media on Sunday (Jan. 1). At press time, White’s cause of death and date were not disclosed.

“Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of an exceptional and talented family member. Our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White,” Verdine White wrote on Instagram alongside photos of his brother.

He said, “He joins our brothers Maurice and Monte in heaven and is now drumming alongside the angels!” He was a wonderful bro, always entertaining and delightfully mischievous. And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light-hearted.”

Fred White was born on Jan. 13, 1955 in Chicago. He began drumming at the age of 9 and later performed with Linda Ronstadt and Donny Hathaway before joining Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974. He was the fourth White brother to perform in the Grammy-winning R&B group.

White was the backbone of some of Earth, Wind & Fire’s most popular songs, including “Shining Star”, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1975. He also scored top 10 hits with “Let’s Groove,” “September,” “Sing a Song,” “After the Love Has Gone,” “Boogie Wonderland” and others.

White left Earth, Wind & Fire in the mid-1980s, but he returned for the band’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000.

White’s drumming skills were also used on recordings for Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat, Deniece Wilkins, the Emotions as well as Ramsey Lewis, Jennifer Holliday and Diana Ross. Most recently, he collaborated with Ross on her 2021 album, Thank You.

Verdine White’s tribute to her received a lot of responses from fellow musicians like Questlove and Lenny Kravitz.

Kravitz said, “Sending my deepest condolences and love to you and your family.” “It was a blessing to have been in his presence, and to have been influenced greatly by him. A true king. Rest in power.

See Verdine White’s tribute to his brother Fred on Instagram here.

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