Actress Sally Field, singer Linda Ronstadt, the children’s television show Sesame Street, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and the band Earth, Wind, and Fire will be honoured at the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors, which will be hosted by LL Cool J.
Earth, Wind, and Fire, the first African-American band to receive a Kennedy Center Honor, will receive their honorary medal with only three of their original members present. While Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, and Verdine White will be in attendance, Maurice White, the band’s founder and Verdine’s brother, died on February6, 2016. He was 74.
White will be with them in spirit, Johnson told Billboard. “You can’t perform an Earth Wind & Fire song without Maurice’s DNA, so he’s always here, and we’re always commemorating him and his vision… People are still gathering and having a good time.”
Maurice White was born on December 19, 1941, in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up in the Foote Homes Projects in South Memphis, where he resided with his grandmother and was a boyhood companion of Booker T. Jones and David Porter. While attending Booker T. Washington High School, White established a “cookin’ little band” with Jones. He also visited his mother, Edna, and stepfather, Verdine Adams, a doctor and occasional musician, on a regular basis in Chicago. White came to Chicago as a teenager, where he studied music at the Chicago Conservatory of Music and performed drums in local bars.
In1962, he joined The Jazzmen, a student jazz trio founded by Louis Satterfield on trombone, Charles Handy on trumpet, and Don Myrick on alto saxophone at Crane Junior College in Chicago, Illinois. The Jazzmen evolved into the Pharaohs. Satterfield, White, and Handy worked as studio musicians at Chicago’s Chess Records. He worked with Etta James, Chuck Berry, Rotary Connection, Junior Wells, Sonny Stitt, Muddy Waters, the Impressions, the Dells, Betty Everett, Willie Dixon, Sugar Pie DeSanto, and Buddy Guy during his time at Chess. Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” (with Satterfield on bass), Billy Stewart’s “Summertime,” and Jackie Wilson’s (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher all included White on the drums.
White was the father of three children: Hemeya, a daughter, and Kahbran and Eden, two sons. He had two residences in California, one in Carmel Valley and the other in Los Angeles, a four-level condominium. Basketball and tennis were two of his favourite sports.
He went under the moniker “Reese.” Verdine White, his younger half-brother and an original member of Earth, Wind & Fire, continues to travel with the band as bassist and backup vocalist. In 1974, when the band recorded “Devotion,” their brother Fred joined the band.
Cause of Death
White died in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on February 4, 2016, from the effects of Parkinson’s disease. He was 74 at the time. “My brother, idol, and best friend Maurice White died away quietly last night in his sleep,” his brother Verdine said. While the world has lost another great performer and legend, our family requests that our privacy be respected as we embark on a tough and life-changing journey. Thank you for your kind words and prayers.
Maurice White’s Net Worth
Maurice White has a net worth of $5 million as an American musician, producer, and arranger. Maurice White, the founder of the hit group Earth, Wind & Fire, was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941. The band formed in 1971 in Chicago, Illinois, and has since become one of the most popular bands of all time.
White composed the majority of the group’s music, winning a Grammy Award for ”
Get to Get You into My Life” in 1978 for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist. He also has four American Music Awards, the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, and three NAACP Image Awards under his belt. Outside of Earth, Wind & Fire, White has collaborated with a slew of artists, including Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, and released a self-titled solo album in 1985. He’s written several movie songs, including the soundtrack for the smash film “Coming to America.” As member of Earth, Wind & Fire, White was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the late 1980s, which led him to stop touring, though he remained with the band. Despite his diagnosis, White, also known as “Reese,” remains active in show business and the music industry. Maurice White,74, passed away on February3, 2016.