Maurice White, singer-songwriter and co-founder of the iconic soul and funk group Earth, Wind & Fire died Thursday. (February 4) He was 74.
Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning.
The light is he, shining on you and me. pic.twitter.com/ppWTHKUyG6
— Earth, Wind & Fire (@EarthWindFire) February 4, 2016
White was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1992, and stopped touring with the band just two years later, but continued to be involved in the group’s business decisions. It’s reported White’s condition worsened in recents months.
Earth, Wind and Fire was formed in 1969 by White and his brother Verdine. The two, along with other members of the group pioneered a new sound which borrowed from elements of soul, jazz, and funk. Earth, Wind & Fire’s first number one came with the release of their classic “Shining Star.” The group would later go on to create more classics such as “Fantasy” “September” and the universally praised “Reasons.”
“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” Verdine wrote in a statement. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”
The news of White’s death comes almost a month after learning the group, Run DMC and Herbie Hancock would receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award at this year’s ceremony.
Rest In Peace, Maurice White.