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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dies at 74

The singer-songwriter had been battling Parkinson’s disease for more than 20 years

Rolling Stone India Feb 05, 2016
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Maurice White. Photo: Chris Hakkens

Maurice White. Photo: Chris Hakkens

Maurice White, the co-founder and lead vocalist of Earth Wind & Fire died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 74. “Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning,” the band stated on their official Twitter. “The light is he, shining on you and me.”

The singer had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1992 which had caused him to stop touring with the band from 1995 onwards. Earth, Wind & Fire found success with their 1975 album That’s The Way of The World and went on to make many hits like “September”, “Let’s Groove” and their cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life”.  White had also released a solo album titled Maurice White which gained fame due to his cover of American soul singer Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me”.

In addition to selling 90 million albums worldwide Earth, Wind & Fire have won six Grammys, four American Music Awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. White on his own was inducted into Vocal Group Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame and The NAACP Image Awards Hall of Fame. White has worked with numerous artists over the course of his career including American singer and actress Barbra Streisand, pop singer-songwriter Cher and R&B singer and producer Deniece Williams.

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Earth, Wind & Fire will also be honored at this year’s Grammys with a lifetime achievement award.

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