Tributes are being paid to former Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White following his death at the age of 67.
Earth Wind and Fire were founded in the late 1960s by White’s brother, Mauricewho died at age 74 in 2016. The band featured a variety of different musicians over the years and spanned genres from R’n’B and soul to pop and disco.
Fred White was an early member of the American group and played on many of their hit albums and songs, including September, Boogie Wonderland, Saturday Nite, and Shining Star.
His death was announced by his brother Verdine, who was also a member of the band. He paid tribute to “an incredible and talented family member” in a statement shared on Instagram.
“Dear family, friends and fans, our family is saddened today by the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our loving brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White,” he wrote. “He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and now he is drumming with the angels!
“Protege child, member of the EWF ORIGINAL 9, going gold at the young age of 16! He was the number four brother in the family lineup.
“But more than that at home and beyond, he was the wonderful brother who was always entertaining and deliciously mischievous!
“And we can always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more joyful! He will live in our hearts forever, rest in power dear Freddie!
“We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Fly high brother, we love you to infinity and back!”
White began playing drums professionally as a teenager and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 along with other members of Earth, Wind & Fire.
He also appeared on songs by American singers Donny Hathaway and Jennifer Holliday.
In his memory, Earth, Wind & Fire’s official Instagram page shared a video of White drumming solo.
The post was captioned: “In memoriam: Fred White, 1955-2022. Seen here only during our performance of Runnin’, during our 1979 World Tour, at Rockpalast in Essen, Germany. Rest in love.”
American singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz was among those who paid tribute, remembering the drummer as a “true king.”
Commenting on Verdine White’s Instagram post, Kravitz wrote: “Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and your family.
“I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power.”
The “Queen of Percussion”, Sheila E, also responded with emojis of prayers and doves.
Comedian Loni Love wrote: “Rest In Peace and thank you for great years of entertainment.”