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Earth, Wind and Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire Member Reflects: Carrying on Without Maurice White

Gettyimages | Michael Ochs Archives
By Sharon Oliver

Before the mighty soulful elements of the universe, Earth, Wind and Fire, were reduced down to trio size, they once commanded the stage with the presence of a small army. When Earth, Wind and Fire burst on the scene, they immediately changed the sound of music with their combination of funk, R&B, soul, Afro pop, rock and jazz.

Their astronomical success began after the release of their 1975 album That’s the Way of the World and the string of hits just kept on coming, along with sold-out concert tours around the world.

The Genius that is Maurice White

Maurice White
Gettyimages | Richard E. Aaron

The band’s legendary leader, Maurice White, who passed away in 2016 at age 74, retreated from public life after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in the 1990s. In a recent Fox News interview, lead singer Philip Bailey had this to say about White, “Maurice’s spirit always resonates with every song we sing, with every note we play, with every lyric and every song, every beat — there’s no way that these things happen without his DNA.

So, he’s very much still alive and living in our music and his legacy. The band has been touring without Maurice for 25 years prior to his passing, but he was very much in support of us taking on the legacy and continuing to push it forward,” Bailey added.

Musician’s Musicians

earth wind and fire
Gettyimages | Doug Griffin

During their heyday, Earth, Wind and Fire was comprised of some of the most gifted musicians around. Verdine White, Maurice’s brother, is still one of the most phenomenal bass players you can find on the planet.

Many of those who attended the earlier concerts often witnessed him levitate from the ground as he played. Keyboardist Larry Dunn and his piano would rotate upside as he played. Johnny Graham shredded the guitar on the regular and the horn section would blow you away

Storied Career

Earth, Wind and Fire
Gettyimages | Bettmann

Remaining members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson continue to keep the legacy alive for longtime fans and new listeners. Even though the band has had a trunk full of hits like Shining Star, Kalimba, and Boogie Wonderland, their most popular song continues to be 1978’s September.

Earth, Wind and Fire have won countless awards and have performed everywhere from the Super Bowl to the White House. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Teaming Up with Santana

Earth Wind and Fire
Gettyimages | The Washington Post

Carlos Santana is celebrating the 20th anniversary of *Supernatural with his “Miraculous Supernatural 2020 Tour” and he is bringing Earth, Wind and Fire along for the fun.

“It is a great joy and honor to co-share music with the magnificent elements of Earth, Wind and Fire,” Carlos Santana said in a statement. “We look forward to delight, joy and ecstasy!” “I feel like a 20-year-old on stage playing with my band, and they deliver incredible energy on every song,” Santana continued. “When we hit the stage, we know we will touch your heart and make you dance, sing, cry, laugh and leave your worries and fears behind. The shows will feature the hits of yesterday, today and tomorrow…with energy!”

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