1672699247 Earth Wind Fire drummer Fred White dies at 67

Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White dies at 67


Fred White, a drummer for classic ’70s superband Earth, Wind & Fire, has died, according to an Instagram post by his older brother and former bandmate Verdine White. He was 67.

Verdine White wrote on Instagram on Sunday: “Today our family is saddened by the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother, Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White.”

Verdine White called his brother a “protégé” and identified him as an “original” founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire “with gold records at the young age of 16”.

“But beyond that,” Verdine White continued, “at home and beyond he was the wonderful brother who was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”

Details on the cause of death were not initially available. CNN has reached out to the band’s representatives.

The band’s official Instagram account also posted a memory of Fred White and shared a clip of a drum solo during Earth, Wind & Fire’s world tour at the Rockpalast in Essen, Germany in 1979.

Philip Bailey, one of the original lead singers of Earth, Wind & Fire, also posted in honor of Fred White, sharing a picture celebrating the band’s double Grammy win in 1980.

“We will miss you Freddie,” he wrote.

Before officially joining Earth, Wind & Fire, Fred White toured for Donny Hathaway as a child and played drums on his album Live.

With the band, Fred White won six Grammys and was nominated a total of 13 times, receiving trophies for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for their 1979 track “Boogie Wonderland” and the same honor for 1977’s “Runnin'”.

In 2000, Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“Earth, Wind & Fire took jazz, soul, gospel, pop and more and wrapped them in a psychedelic, mystical package,” reads the music institution’s introduction introducing the band. “Few groups have been as innovative yet as beloved by critics and audiences as EW&F.”

The Hall of Fame also described how the band “solidified the growth of black album music in the ’70s” and recounted how Earth, Wind & Fire went six straight double platinum albums and became Columbia Records’ best-selling R&B band of all time records were.

Most recently, Fred White worked on Diana Ross’ 2021 album Thank You.