Fred White, Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer, Dead at 67

Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White has died, White's brother and band member Verdine White announced Sunday. Fred was 67. Verdine announced the news on Instagram alongside photos of his brother throughout the years but did not disclose his brother's cause of death. 

"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," Verdine wrote in the comments. "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," Verdine continued. "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!" Verdine concluded, "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!" 

Musicians like Lenny Kravitz offered their condolences in the comments. "Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and the family," the "Fly Away" artist wrote. "I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power." Music producer Cory Rooney added, "I'm sorry for your terrible loss brother. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family," while artist Nile Rodgers commented, "Deepest condolences, love and respect."

Fred was a drum prodigy from a young age, touring as a professional drummer with Donny Hathaway before finishing high school and joining his siblings in Earth, Wind & Fire while he was still in his teens. A year after he joined the band in 1974, Earth, Wind & Fire took off with "Shining Star," a No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, catapulting the group into superstardom and hits like Saturday Nite," "September" and "Boogie Wonderland." Fred left the group behind in the early 1980s but rejoined the band for its Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2000. He continued to work with artists including Diana Ross and Bonnie Raitt, most recently on Ross' 2021 album.