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Maurice White

  • Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee
  • Birthday: December 19
Date of passing: 
February 03, 2016

Obituary

Obituary: 

Maurice White was a singer and performer, best known for being the founder of the R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire and co-lead singer with Philip Bailey. White was nominated for a total of 20 Grammys, winning seven, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of the band, and was inducted individually into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The horn-driven, nine-piece band sold more than 90 million albums, and was known for its hits “September,” “Shining Star,” "Reasons" and “Boogie Wonderland.” Earth, Wind & Fire featured Maurice White and his younger brother Verdine White. The band became well-known in 1975, with the release of the album That’s the Way of the World.

The group's music was also often featured in film and television, including the series The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, Fame, Seinfeld, American Dad, My Name is Earl, Glee, Chuck, Bob’s Burgers, The Affair and The Mentalist. The films included Coming to America, Caddyshack II, Boogie Nights, The Waterboy, Muppets from Space, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Something’s Gotta Give, Hitch, Be Cool, Babel, The Holiday and Night at the Museum.

White also appeared in television performances and specials with the band, including, The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song, Top of the Pops, Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert, Solid Gold, The History of Rock 'n' Roll and When Disco Ruled the World.

Maurice White was a singer and performer, best known for being the founder of the R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire and co-lead singer with Philip Bailey. White was nominated for a total of 20 Grammys, winning seven, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of the band, and was inducted individually into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The horn-driven, nine-piece band sold more than 90 million albums, and was known for its hits “September,” “Shining Star,” "Reasons" and “Boogie Wonderland.” Earth, Wind & Fire featured Maurice White and his younger brother Verdine White. The band became well-known in 1975, with the release of the album That’s the Way of the World.

The group's music was also often featured in film and television, including the series The Brady Bunch Variety Hour, Fame, Seinfeld, American Dad, My Name is Earl, Glee, Chuck, Bob’s Burgers, The Affair and The Mentalist. The films included Coming to America, Caddyshack II, Boogie Nights, The Waterboy, Muppets from Space, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Love Don’t Cost a Thing, Something’s Gotta Give, Hitch, Be Cool, Babel, The Holiday and Night at the Museum.

White also appeared in television performances and specials with the band, including, The Music for UNICEF Concert: A Gift of Song, Top of the Pops, Earth, Wind & Fire in Concert, Solid Gold, The History of Rock 'n' Roll and When Disco Ruled the World.

He got his start studying music at the Chicago Conservancy, and during the 1960s he backed Muddy Waters, The Impressions and more. He later worked as a session drummer, and founded the band Salty Peppers in Chicago. He and Verdine moved to Los Angeles and reformed the band as Earth, Wind & Fire. Their early sound was jazzy, but evolved into funk and Big Band music, and they were also known for their visually spectacular concerts.

White also had a side career producing other artists, including Cher and Barbra Streisand. And in the 1970s he co-wrote and co-produced the Emotions' number one hit, “Best of My Love.”

He died February 3, 2016, in Los Angeles. He was 74.

 

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