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Fred White, Drummer for Earth, Wind & Fire, Dies at 67

Fred White via EWF Instagram screengrab
Fred White, the man that kept the beat for one of the best-selling bands of all time, Earth, Wind & Fire — which has sold over 90 million records and won six Grammy Awards in its 50-plus years of existence — has died at the age of 67.

His brother and fellow bandmate Verdine White, the group's bassist, shared the news of the drummer's death Sunday on Instagram.

"Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene 'Freddie' White," he captioned a series of images of Fred playing the drums and posing with the other members of the group.

A cause of death for the percussionist was not given.

Founded in Chicago in 1969 by Fred's older brother, co-lead singer and chief songwriter Maurice White (who died in 2016), Earth, Wind & Fire has been recognized as one of the most important bands of its era. Rolling Stone declared it the band that "changed the sound of black pop."

In 2000, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Fred as a member.

He joined Earth, Wind & Fire in 1974 as a teenager after making his name in Chicago clubs and playing as a drummer for Donny Hathaway. During Fred's time in the band's rhythm section, featuring fellow drummer Ralph Johnson, he laid the foundation for some of its biggest hits, including Earth Wind & Fire's signature song, "September."

Fred played on all six of the group's most notable albums during its heyday, beginning with 1975's "That's the Way of the World" which reached No. 1 on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts and was followed by five more consecutive releases that reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200.

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