Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White dies aged 67

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Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White dies aged 67

Fred White, former drummer of the band Earth, Wind & Fire, has died aged 67.

A child drumming prodigy, Chicago-born Mr White was one of the early members to join the group founded by his other brother Maurice.

Bassist Verdine White said his “amazing and talented” brother was now “drumming with the angels”.

Among the tributes to White, singer Lenny Kravitz called him a “true king” and said he was “blessed” to have been influenced by him.

White began drumming at nine years old, and featured on his first gold record, Donny Hathaway’s Live, at just 16.

In 1974, he joined Earth Wind & Fire, the band founded by brother Maurice and known for hit songs including September and Boogie Wonderland.

A year later, the group shot to fame with its triple platinum album That’s the Way of the World.

It became one of the best-selling bands of all time, with over 90 million records sold worldwide.

Over the years the group won six Grammys and four American Music Awards, as well as entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and gaining a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The death was announced on Instagram by Verdine White, who did not give a cause.

“Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother Frederick Eugene “Freddie” White,” he wrote.

As well as his drumming success, White was a wonderful brother who was “always entertaining and delightfully mischievous” he added.

“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!”

In response, Kravitz wrote: “Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and the family.

“I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him. A true king. Rest in power.”