Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer Fred White has died, aged 67
On top of recording iconic tracks such as ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’, he also collaborated with the likes of Donny Hathaway and Diana Ross
Fred White, the drummer for legendary disco band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died aged 67.
The news was announced on Sunday, January 1 by his brother Verdine White, who shared a statement on Instagram.
It read: “Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene “Freddie” White.
“He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!” it continued.
“Child protégé, member of the EWF [Earth, Wind & Fire] ORIGINAL 9, with gold records at the young age of 16 years old! He was brother number 4 in the family lineup.
“He will live in our hearts forever, rest in power beloved Freddie!”
Before joining his brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald White, along with the likes of Philip Bailey and Johnny Graham in Earth, Wind & Fire, Fred had already built himself a musical career – forming a band with Donny Hathaway called The Salty Peppers.
He would record on many of Earth, Wind & Fire’s most iconic records, including ‘September’, ‘Boogie Wonderland’, ‘Shining Star’ and ‘Saturday Nite’.
In 2000 Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, where Fred lined up and performed with other members of the band as they received the honour, after leaving the band in 1983.
Throughout his storied career, he would also collaborate with the likes of Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt, recently co-writing a song on Ross’s 2021 album ‘Thank You’.
Earth, Wind & Fire paid tribute on their official Instagram page, posting a video of him playing a drum solo while on a world tour in Germany.
Philip Bailey, one of the band’s singers, paid tribute on Earth, Wind and Fire’s Facebook page, where a statement read: “That family groove foundation. It was built on Maurice, Verdine, and Freddy. We never had to say much… The groove was in the blood… RIP my little brother.”
No cause of death was given.
Isaac Muk is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow him on Twitter