Fred White, the drummer of the 1970s American band, Earth, Wind & Fire, passed away on Sunday, January 1 at the age of 67. The talented musician had earned a Gold Record when he was only 16 years old.
His brother and founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire, Verdine White, confirmed the sad news, “Dearest Family Friends and Fans….. 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! ??”
He continued, “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 band’s official Instagram account also posted a tribute video to Fred White, sharing a drum solo during Earth, Wind & Fire’s world tour at Rockpalast in Essen, Germany, in 1979.
Philip Bailey, one of Earth, Wind & Fire’s original lead singers, also shared his condolences and posted a photo from the band’s double Grammy win in 1980 with the caption, “We’ll miss you Freddie.”
At the moment, the cause of Fred’s death is unknown. Born in Chicago in 1955, at just 15 years old, he joined The Salty Peppers. At the time, the band featured legendary vocalist Donny Hathaway. In 1974 he joined Earth, Wind & Fire as a drummer, along with his brothers Maurice and Verdine White.
The group won six Grammy Awards and has great hits like “September,” “Let’s Groove,” and “Boogie Wonderland.” The band also has its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, next to Jamaican Reggae pioneer, Bob Marley.