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Earth, Wind & Fire Guitarist Sheldon Reynolds Passes Away, Age 63

26 May 2023 | 9:43 am | Mary Varvaris

"Sheldon was an excellent addition to the band, a great writer and producer, and a genuinely kind and loving person. He will be missed."

Photo of Earth, Wind & Fire

Photo of Earth, Wind & Fire (Source: Philip Bailey's Facebook)

Sheldon Reynolds, former lead guitarist of Earth, Wind & Fire fame has passed away, at age 63. As well as his guitar-playing, background vocals and songwriting duties with the legendary American music group, Reynolds was a member of The Commodores and Sun. He was also a solo artist.

Reynolds’ death was confirmed by Earth, Wind & Fire bandmate Philip Bailey, who wrote on social media: “This news of Sheldon Reynolds transition is very sad for all of us who knew and worked with him. Sheldon vocally had Reese down. That’s what Maurice said when he hired Sheldon to share vocals and play guitar. Sheldon was an excellent addition to the band, a great writer and producer, and a genuinely kind and loving person. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family.

“Rest in Peace.


“Listening to Sunday Morning”.

Bailey’s post doesn’t give details about Reynolds’ cause of death.

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Reynolds started playing guitar at just eight years old and was considered a prodigy by the age of 12. After his stint in Sun – where he recorded three albums – Reynolds joined The Commodores from 1983 until 1987.

While with The Commodores, Reynolds featured on the albums Nightshift (1985) and United (1986). He wasn’t in the band at the same time as Lionel Richie.

From there, Reynolds was an element of Earth, Wind & Fire from 1987 until sometime in 2002, Mirror reports. He played on the band’s albums Touch The World (1987), The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 2 (1988), Heritage (1990), Millennium (1993) and In The Name Of Love (1997).

With Earth, Wind & Fire, Reynolds won a Grammy award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for Sunday Morning. Reynolds was subsequently inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame with the band.

In January, Earth, Wind & Fire’s former drummer Fred White passed away at age 67.

His brother and bandmate Verdine White announced the news 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.