Fred White, Earth, Wind & Fire drummer, dead at 67

Jan 2, 2023, 4:39 PM | Updated: 4:40 pm
Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White, seen here performing on stage in an undated photo, has died,...
Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White, seen here performing on stage in an undated photo, has died, according to an Instagram post from his older brother and former bandmate, Verdine White. (Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images via CNN)
(Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images via CNN)

(CNN) — Fred White, a drummer for classic ’70s superband Earth, Wind & Fire, has died, according to an Instagram post from his older brother and former bandmate, Verdine White. He was 67.

Verdine White wrote on Instagram on Sunday, “Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White.”

Verdine White called his brother a “child protégé” and identified him as an “original” founding member of Earth, Wind & Fire “with gold records at the young age of 16 years old.”

“But more than that,” Verdine White continued, “at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous!”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Verdine White (@verdine_white)

Details about the cause of death were not immediately available. CNN has reached out to the band’s representatives.

The band’s official Instagram account also posted a memorial tribute to Fred White, sharing a clip of a drum solo during Earth, Wind & Fire’s Tour of the World at Rockpalast in Essen, Germany in 1979.

Philip Bailey, one of Earth, Wind & Fire’s original lead singers, also posted in Fred White’s honor, sharing an image celebrating the band’s 1980 double Grammy win.

“We will miss you, Freddie,” he wrote.

Before officially joining Earth, Wind & Fire, Fred White toured and played drums as a child for Donny Hathaway, playing on his album “Live.”

With the band, Fred White won six Grammys and was nominated a total of 13 times, scoring trophies for best R&B instrumental performance for their 1979 track “Boogie Wonderland” as well as the same award for 1977’s “Runnin’.”

In 2000, Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“Earth, Wind & Fire took jazz, soul, gospel, pop and more and wrapped them in one psychedelic, mystical package,” the music institution’s introduction to band’s induction states. “Few groups were as innovative yet beloved by critics and audiences as EW&F.”

The Hall of Fame also described how the band “solidified the growth of black album music in the Seventies,” recounting how Earth, Wind & Fire scored six consecutive double-platinum albums and became recording company Columbia Records’ bestselling R&B band of all time.

Most recently, Fred White worked on Diana Ross’s 2021 album “Thank You.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

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Fred White, Earth, Wind & Fire drummer, dead at 67