Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died, the band announced on Sunday. He was 67.
The brother of Earth, Wind & Fire founders Maurice and Verdine White, the then-teenage Fred joined the band in 1974 after drumming for the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Donny Hathaway. His talent helped Earth, Wind & Fire land their first Billboard No. 1 hit with “Shining Star,” helping to transform them into the disco powerhouse they’d soon become.
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images Fred White drumming with Earth, Wind & Fire.
Though he left the band in the ’80s, Fred returned for their induction ceremony to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
“He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!” Verdine White, Fred’s brother and founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire, wrote on Instagram. “Child protégé, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old! He was brother number 4 in the family lineup. But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”
The official Earth, Wind & Fire Instagram account shared a video of Fred performing a drum solo during the band’s 1979 world tour in Germany. Watch it below.