The music world lost one of its most significant luminaries when Maurice White, founder and co-frontman of the iconic group Earth, Wind & Fire, died yesterday (February 4).
The New York Times reported that although a cause of death hasn’t yet been disclosed, it may be connected to White’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
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
Earth, Wind & Fire cemented its status as a pioneer under White’s leadership, reaching peak fame in the 1970s. The ensemble’s unique blend of R&B, funk, jazz disco, pop and other genres separated it from its contemporaries, offering messages of what White described on the group’s website (as cited by the Times—the text is not there at present) as universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners spiritual content. White remained prolific after the group’s heyday, producing and writing for artists as varied as Jennifer Holliday, Barbra Streisand and Atlantic Starr. White is survived by several family members, including his brothers and bandmates Verdine and Fred.
We invite those of you with your own special memories of White and Earth, Wind & Fire to share them with us in the comments or on social media. In the meantime, we share the following exceptional live performances of some of the group’s biggest hits.
(H/t The New York Times)