Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer Fred White Dead At 67
Fred White, a drummer for Earth, Wind & Fire and a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, has died. White’s brother and bandmate Verdine White confirmed the news Sunday in a tribute post on Instagram. Fred was 67.
Born Frederick Eugene Adams in Chicago in 1955, White was a child prodigy on the drums. At age 15, he met Donnie Hathaway and soon was performing with him on tour, including the 1971 performance at The Troubadour documented on his Live album. He also played with the likes of Albertina Walker, Willie Hutch, and the Salty Peppers, an early version of Earth, Wind & Fire.
His brother Verdine’s post identifies him as one of the “EWF ORIGINAL 9,” though it wasn’t until 1974 that he joined Verdine and their half-brother Maurice White in Earth, Wind & Fire, the mystic funk, soul, and disco band that became one of the most beloved hit-making forces of the 1970s. That meant he was in the fold in time to record classics like “Shining Star,” “September,” and “Boogie Wonderland.” While behind the kit for EWF, Fred continued to drum for other acts including Deniece Williams, the Emotions, and Ramsey Lewis.