NEW YORK — Maurice White, 74, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, who sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like "September," ''Shining Star" and "Boogie Wonderland," died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said.
White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson's Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing.
"My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep," Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on Thursday. "While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes."
Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band centered featuring the two White brothers, singer Philip Bailey and the distinctive horn section, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The band's most successful period started with the 1975 album "That's The Way of The World" and continued through the rest of the decade. Other hits included "Serpentine Fire," ''That's the Way of the World" and a cover of the Beatles' "Got to Get You Into My Life."
Chris Rock tweeted his condolences Thursday with a photo of White and the lyrics, "You can't hide love." Nile Rogers called White "one of the most amazing innovators of all time" on the social media platform, while Diane Warren said "this world just got a lot less soulful."