Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White dies aged 67

Virgin Radio

3 Jan 2023, 08:25

Credit: Instagram (@VerdineWhite)

Tributes are pouring in for former Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White, who has died aged 67. 

The news was confirmed by Fred’s brother and EWF co-founder and bassist Verdine White, who posted a loving tribute to his Instagram page. 

Verdine wrote: “Our family is saddened today, With the loss of an amazing and talented family member, Our beloved brother Frederick Eugene "Freddie" White. He joins our brothers Maurice, Monte and Ronald in heaven and is now drumming with the angels!

“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!”

The musician continued: “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!!

“We thank you all for your love, blessings and support at this time. Soar high baby bro, we love you to the shining ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️and back!”

Stars from across the music industry paid their respects to the iconic musician, with Lenny Kravitz responding to the post saying: “Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and the family. I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power.”

Meanwhile, Nile Rodgers wrote: “Deepest condolences, love and respect.”

The likes of US basketball legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson also paid tribute, writing on Twitter: “RIP to my dear friend Fred White, a member of one of my all-time favorite musical groups Earth, Wind & Fire! My thoughts and prayers go out to his Earth, Wind & Fire bandmates and his entire family.”

Earth, Wind & Fire were founded in 1969 in Chicago by lead singer Maurice White, and the soul group went on to sell 90 million records worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling bands of all time. 

Fred joined brother Maurice in the band from 1974, after previously playing with Donny Hathaway and Little Feat. Fred would be behind the drums for EWF until 1984. 

Fred and his brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and earned a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.