Fred White, Chicago-born Earth, Wind & Fire drummer, dies at 67
CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago-born Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died, his brother announced.
White was 67.
White's death was announced on Instagram Sunday by his brother, Verdine White. No cause was specified.
"Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene 'Freddie' White. He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!" Verdine White wrote. "Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old! He was brother number 4 in the family lineup. But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous! And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light hearted!"
Fred White was born in Chicago in 1955.
As reported by Pitchfork, he toured as a drummer with such acts as Donny Hathaway before he graduated from high school, and joined his siblings in Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974 – before he turned 20. He became one of two drummers in the iconic funk and soul band, alongside brother and bandleader Maurice, AllMusic.com noted.
White played on hits such as "September" and "Shining Star."
Brother Maurice White, who died in 2016 at 74, served as bandleader, principal songwriter and producer and was one of the group's lead singers.
Fred White moved on from the group in 1984 when the band went on hiatus, but he came back in 2000 for their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame introduction, Pitchfork reported.
White also won six Grammys while with Earth, Wind & Fire.
The band also confirmed Fred White's death on its Instagram page, sharing a video clip of White playing a drum solo while the band was in Essen, Germany, during its 1979 world tour. The video shows White smiling and blowing kisses to the crowd as they cheer.
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