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Photo of EARTH WIND & FIRE and Fred WHITE

Source: Rob Verhorst / Getty

Fred White, the drummer for Earth, Wind & Fire who was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame with the group, has died. He was 67.

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White’s brother and bandmate, Verdine White, confirmed his passing on Sunday (January 1) with a touching tribute post on Instagram.

Born Frederick Eugene Adams in 1955, White would rise from the Chicago music scene as a child prodigy on the drums. At age 15, he met Donny Hathaway and soon was performing on the road with him. In White’s post on Instagram, he referred to Fred as one of the “EWF ORIGINAL 9,” although he wouldn’t join his brother and half-brother, Maurice White, until 1974. With Fred on the drums, EWF rose to become one of the biggest soul and funk bands of the 1970s, blending mysticism, disco, funk, R&B, and more into a hit-making machine.

“Dearest Family Friends and Fans,” Verdine’s post began. 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!”

Fred White, Drummer For Earth, Wind & Fire, Dead At 67  was originally published on wtlcfm.com