courtesy AllAccess.com February 4, 2016 at 3:05 PM (PT)
EARTH, WIND & FIRE Co-Founder MAURICE WHITE died in his sleep THURSDAY morning at the age of 74, TMZ and other media outlets report. He fought a long battle with PARKINSON’s, which was originally diagnosed in 1992 and forced him to stop touring with the group in 1994.
Boasting a bevy of hits such as “Shining Star,” “September,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “After the Love has Gone,” the nine-piece horn-driven R&B/pop ensemble sold over 90 million albums and was inducted into the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME in 2000. MAURICE was individually inducted into the SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME in 2010.
According to ABC NEWS, brother and band co-founder VERDINE WHITE told the AP, “My brother, hero and best friend MAURICE WHITE passed away peacefully last night in his sleep. While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”
– See more HERE
Parkinson’s is a sad diagnosis for anyone, but particularly so for musicians and vocalists as it slowly but inevitably robs coordination and breath control. If I’m not mistaken, Linda Ronstadt recently revealed that PD had forced her early retirement.
Through his leadership of Earth, Wind and Fire, Maurice had a tangential connection to Canada–he gave Victoria native David Foster his first break as a record producer. Until then, Foster, who had stayed in LA after the breakup of his one-hit wonder band Skylark, kept busy as a session musician. His success with EW&F, led him to mega-producer status with another Columbia Records act, Chicago.