2016 has already been a rotten year for the music industry, with several legends of song passing away. Sadly, another legendary musician has passed away, with the death of Maurice White. Maurice was a founding member of Earth, Wind and Fire, and also had a hand in the success of The Emotions
Born in Memphis, Tennesse, USA, Maurice was a childhood friend of fellow musician Booker T Jones. He bgan playing drums in his teenage years and found his way onto the music scene in the 1960s as a session drummer for Chess Records. He spent time with The Jazzmen and The Ramsey Lewis Trio, before founding the hugely successful Soul band, Earth Wind and Fire, along with Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead, in 1969. Maurice lent his voice and his lyrics to a number of classic hits, including Fantasty, September and Let’s Groove. Despite never recording a number 1 single, Earth, Wind and Fire were one of the most popular bands of the 70s and 80s, and their music is still regularly played today.
In addition to his success with Earth, Wind and Fire, Maurice lent a hand to upcoming female Soul group, The Emotions. White produced a number of singles for The Emotions and helped the group gain stardom in the last 1970s. He would also go on to work with Deneice Williams, Barry Manilow, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder to name a few, lending his musical knowledge and his unique voice to a new generation of artists.
In his later years, White was recognized for his outstanding contribution to music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, as well as the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. White continued his involvement in music until 2014, despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in the late 1980s.
Maurice White passed away in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease on 4th February 2016. Another legendary musician has left us, but the joy he brought with his musical talents will live on forever