Fred White, the drummer from the legendary band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died at the age of 67.
On Sunday (Jan. 1), his brother and bandmate Verdine White confirmed the news on his Instagram account, but did not reveal his cause of death. “Dearest family, friends and fans… Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White,” Verdine, 71, captioned a slideshow of photos of Fred and the rest of his bandmates. “He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!” he added.
Verdine labeled his brother, one of the group’s original nine members, a child protégé with gold records at the young age of 16 years old. “He was brother number [four] in the family lineup,” he shared.
“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!” the bassist continued. “He will live in our hearts forever. Rest in power, beloved Freddie!! We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Soar high baby bro, we love you to the shining and back!” Verdine shared.
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Fred played the drums on eight different Earth, Wind & Fire albums which included some of their biggest hit singles like “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Saturday Night” and “Shining Star.” Their music is a mixture of jazz, R&B, soul, funk, disco, pop, big band, Latin and Afro pop. The Grammy-winning group is one of the best-selling bands of all time with over 90 million records sold worldwide. In 2000, they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.