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Fred White Dies Earth, Wind & Fire drummer turns 67 in band’s heyday

Fred White, drummer for the Grammy-winning R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire in the 1970s and early ’80s, whose classic songs included “September” and “Shining Star,” has died. He was 67. His brother and bandmate Verdin White announced his death on social media in the early hours of the New Year.

“Our family is deeply saddened by the loss of a wonderful and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White.” He wrote. “He joined our brothers Maurice, Monte, and Ronald in heaven and is now with the angels.”

When Fred White joined Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974 he was the drummer for Danny Hathaway and other acts. He’s been behind the kit since 1975 when the band was one of the biggest R&B acts in the country, playing on its gold or platinum albums. 1983 Electric Universe topped the Billboard 200 on World’s Way.

Fred White Dies Earth, Wind & Fire drummer turns 67 in band's heyday
Fred White Dies Earth, Wind & Fire drummer turns 67 in band’s heyday

The group scored eight consecutive Top 10 albums from 1975-81, including a live set Gratitude. Earth, Wind & Fire also had seven Top 10 pop singles during that period, from the Grammy Award-winning “Shining Star,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1975, to “Let’s Groove,” which spent five.

1981 no. Weeks in 3rd place. Their other biggest hits included “Sing a Song,” the Beatle’s cover of “Got to Get You into My Life (from the 1978 film Sgt. Peppers), the disco classics “September” and “Boogie Wonderland. ” the emotional second and double Grammy winner “After the Love Has Gone.”

EWF also had eight No. 1s on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart. The band, widely known for their brightly colored costumes and elaborate, high-energy live shows, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Fred White played at the induction ceremony after leaving the group in the mid-1980s.

The group had four Top 5 singles in the UK and its albums I Am (1979) and Faces reached the Top 10 there. EWF has three other top 10 UK albums with compilation discs from 1978-2010. Earth, Wind & Fire received six Grammys and 17 total nominations from 1975-2005.

In addition to the Rock Hall, the group has also been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Its 1978 compilation disc The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 5 million units in the U.S., making it the group’s top U.S. single.

According to the hit RIAA. Just over 23.5 million records have been sold. Fred White and his bandmates wrote the score for the 1975 film That’s the Way of the World – later titled Shining Star – starring Harvey Keitel as a record executive tasked with breaking through a struggling young band.

The album became a real commercial breakthrough for EWF, spending three weeks atop the Billboard 200 and being named one of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. On January 13, 1955, in Chicago, Fred White Hathaway, Linda Ronstadt (chart-topping Heart Like a Wheel) Little Feat (Feat’s Don’t Fail Me No), Denise Williams, The. Emotions, Ramsey Lewis and Jennifer Holliday.


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