Earth, Wind & Fire founding member Maurice White has passed away, The Associated Press reports. He was 74.
White’s brother, Verdine White, also of Earth, Wind & Fire, released a statement announcing the news on Thursday (Feb. 4). “My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White said. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”
Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band that expertly mixed genres like funk, jazz, disco, and soul, were active from the 1970s to present day. The band have sold 90 million records worldwide and are known for such classics as 1978’s “September.”
White, the band’s lead singer, suffered from Parkinson’s disease.