Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died at the age of 67. White’s brother and bandmate Verdine White confirmed the news in a post on Instagram. No cause of death was provided.
Born Frederick Eugene Adams in Chicago in 1955, White was a drum prodigy who got his start drumming for Donny Hathaway before finishing high school. He joined his siblings Verdine and Maurice White in Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974, a year before their single ‘Shining Star’ reached No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. He played on eight of the group’s LPs, starting with 1975’s That’s the Way of the World through 1983’s Electric Universe, and can be heard on other classics like ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’.
After leaving Earth, Wind & Fire in the early 1980s, White continued to drum for acts like Deniece Williams, the Emotions, and Ramsey Lewis. Most recently, he appeared on Diana Ross’ 2021 comeback album Thank You. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire in 2000.
“He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte, and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels,” Verdine White wrote in his tribute post, continuing:
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!
And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light hearted!🙏🏾😍🙏🏾
He will live in our hearts forever, rest in power beloved Freddie!!