Maurice White, the founding member of the R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, died at his home in Los Angeles, California on Thursday at the age of 74. He had long battled with Parkinson’s Disease.
White was born on December 19, 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee. After moving to Chicago as a teenager, Maurice found work as a session drummer for Chess Records, where he played on records by many well-known artists. White was also a member of the Ramsey Lewis Trio from 1966-1969. After leaving the trio, he formed another group called The Salty Peppers, which would later evolve to become the iconic Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) in 1971.
Over the decades, EWF released 21 studio albums, won 6 Grammy awards and 5 American Music awards. Maurice White also released a self-titled album in 1985. Although he stopped performing and withdrew from public life due to his health, Earth, Wind & Fire continue to be active and perform.