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Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer Fred White Dies Age 67

3 January 2023 | 10:32 am | Emma Whines

"I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power."

The former drummer of Earth, Wind & Fire, Fred White, has passed away aged 67. 

His brother and bandmate Verdine White announced the news on Sunday through a social media post. In it, he paid respect to the wonderful talent of Fred White and reminisced on the time that they spent together. No cause of death was specified. 

In the post, Verdine White wrote: "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!"

Born January 13, 1955, Fred White had an extraordinary career that matched his unique talents. Starting out as a drummer for Donny Hathaway, White soon joined his brothers Verdine and Maurice White in Earth, Wind & Fire when he was just 19. He featured on classic songs such as Saturday Nite, Shining Star, September and Boogie Wonderland before leaving the band in the 1980s. 

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Despite his early departure, Fred White was still inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind and Fire in 2000.

Celebrities have been pouring in to offer their condolences and celebrate White's talent. Lenny Kravitz is leading that charge, commenting on the original announcement post: 

"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 also chimed in simply commenting, "Love," while Nile Rodgers added: "Deepest condolences, love and respect."