“Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like”September,” ”Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland,” died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said.
“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
“Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band centered featuring the two White brothers, singer Philip Bailey and the distinctive horn section, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The band’s most successful period started with the 1975 album”That’s The Way of The World” and continued through the rest of the decade.
“We experienced pure magic together,” Bailey said during the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, standing next to White.
The band’s early sound was jazzy, but evolved into an exuberant, horn-driven mix of jazz, funk, gospel and Big Band music.
The band performed in the movie, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and had hits with the ballad “After the Love Has Gone,” ”All ‘n’ All,” ”Let’s Groove” and “Fall in Love With Me.” The band took a four-year hiatus in the 1980s and then returned, its primary success then on the road. “We live in a negative society,” White told Newsweek at the height of the band’s success.