Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died at 67. Verdine White, his brother and bandmate, shared the news on Instagram on Sunday, January 1. A cause of death has not been publicly revealed at the time of this writing. The band’s official Instagram account also confirmed the news.
Here is Verdine White’s full Instagram tribute:
“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! 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! 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 [stars] and back!”There was an outpouring of support in the comments section. Lenny Kravitz wrote, “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.” Questlove, Jimmy Jam, Dule Hill, and Loni Love were among others sending their love.
Brothers Verdine and Maurice White, the latter of whom died in 2016, founded Earth, Wind & Fire in 1970. Fred joined the band in 1974 (as noted by Entertainment Weekly), after having proven his drumming chops outside of the family with the likes of Donny Hathaway. Before leaving the group in the ’80s, White contributed to enduring Earth, Wind & Fire hits “September” and “Shining Star.”
The group was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. In December 2019, Earth, Wind & Fire were recognized by the Kennedy Center Honors. Ahead of the ceremony, Verdine, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson reflected on their iconic journey to that point with CBS Mornings. Watch the interview below.