Lenny Kravitz, Questlove, + More Pay Tribute To Late Earth, Wind, & Fire Drummer Fred White
Fred White, the drummer for pop-funk group Earth, Wind, & Fire, passed away on Jan. 1. Verdine White broke the news as tribute from artists, including The Roots’ drummer Questlove began pouring in.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Fred White was the drummer of the legendary Earth, Wind, & Fire, who faced off against the Isley Brothers in a Verzuz battle in April 2021.
he former drummer has since passed away on Jan. 1. The cause of his death, at this time, has not been released. Verdine White, Fred’s brother and fellow bandmate posted the news of his passing on Instagram.
“Dearest Family Friends and Fans,” White’s Instagram post read. “Our family is saddened today with the loss of an amazing and talented family member, our beloved brother, Frederick Eugene ‘Freddie’ White.”
Fred joined the genre-bending group at 19 and was already working on what successfully became iconic tracks in music history. White drummed for iconic hits including “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “Shining Star,” all three of which became certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Throughout the group’s 54 years making music, they’ve won six Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The tributes for Fred White began pouring in shortly after news of his passing. “Sending my love and deepest condolences to you and the family,” Lenny Kravitz wrote on Verdine’s post.
“I was blessed to have been in his presence and blessed to have been influenced by him.”
Questlove, Oscar-winning filmmaker and drummer for The Roots, weighed in with “Love.”
Guitarist and composer Nile Rodgers also chimed in and wrote, “Deepest condolences, love, and respect.”
On Jan. 1, the hip-hop community said goodbye to Gangsta Boo. The trailblazing rapper who worked with Three 6 Mafia, and successfully built a following for herself in the Southern hip-hop scene. Tributes from contemporary artists Ty Dolla $ign and Missy Elliott poured in as well as bandmates Juicy J and DJ Paul. She was 43.