Maurice White, co-founder of the celebrated R&B band Earth, Wind, & Fire, passed away today (February 4) at the age of 74.
White acted as the group's lead vocalist since it's inception in 1969, and he also was responsible for writing and co-writing some of the group's most enduring hits. He co-founded the group with his brother Verdine.
It is widely believed that White passed away in his sleep, ending a battle with Parkinson's Disease. Maurice White was diagnosed with the disease in 1992, and he was forced to stop touring with Earth, Wind, & Fire in 1994 as a result. The illness did not stop White from continuing to contribute to the band, and he continued to be involved with the creation of new music.
Earth, Wind, & Fire released their self-title debut album in 1971, and they have released a string of highly successful albums since. They first topped the charts with their 1975 effort That's the Way of the World, following up with yet another chart topper later that year with Gratitude. Singles such as "Shining Star," "September," and "Boogie Wonderland" displayed their ability to seamlessly integrate the sounds of soul and and R&B into a unique and distinctive sound.
The band has won 6 Grammy Awards for their efforts and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their musical efforts in 2000. Maurice White received a separate induction into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2010 for his efforts with the band and as a solo artist.
Maurice White released a handful of solo projects over the years, and he received a Grammy for his efforts on the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" in 1978. White's contribution to the music industry has been heralded as innovative and paramount to the evolution of sound.
He will be sorely missed.
We at PopWrapped wish the family of Maurice White, remaining members of Earth, Wind, & Fire, and all others affected by this loss peace in the following days. May he rest in peace.