Tributes have been paid to former Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White after he died aged 67.
Earth, Wind and Fire Founded by White’s brother Maurice in the late 1960s, who died in 2016 at the age of 74. Over the years, the group has featured a variety of different musicians, covering genres ranging from R’n’B and soul to pop and disco.
Fred White was one of the early members of the American band and played on many of their hit albums and songs, including September, Boogie Wonderland, Saturday Night and Shining Star.
His death was announced by his brother Verdine, also a member of the band. He paid tribute to “an amazing and talented family member” in a statement shared on Instagram.
He wrote: “Dearest family, friends and fans, our family grieves today the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddy’. White.” “He joined our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!
“Protege, member of EWF ORIGINAL 9, set a gold medal record at only 16 years old! He is the fourth brother in the family.
“But more importantly, at home and elsewhere, he was a great brother, always funny and mischievous!
“We can always count on him to make seemingly bad situations so much easier! He will always be in our hearts RIP dear Freddie!!
“At this moment, we thank you all for your love, blessings and support. Spread your wings baby brother and we love you till you shine and come back!”
White began playing drums professionally as a teenager and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 along with the rest of Earth, Wind & Fire.
He also appeared on the tracks of American singers Donny Hathaway and Jennifer Holliday.
In his honor, Earth, Wind & Fire’s official Instagram page shared a video of White drumming solo.
The post was titled: “In Memoriam: Fred White, 1955-2022. Saw here solo during our 1979 world tour at Rockpalast in Essen, Germany during Runnin’. RIP.”
American singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz also paid tribute, calling the drummer a “true king”.
Commenting on Verdine White’s Instagram post, Kravitz wrote: “My love and deepest condolences to you and your family.
“I was lucky to be in his presence and lucky to be under his influence. A true king. Rest in peace.”
“Queen of Percussion” Sheila E also responded with prayers and dove emojis.
Comedian Loni Love wrote: “Rest in peace thank you for all the years of entertainment.”