Maurice White, the founder of soul group Earth, Wind & Fire, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 74.
According to his brother, Maurice White died in his sleep on February 4.
The singer suffered from Parkinson’s disease.
Maurice White’s band had a series of hits including September, Boogie Wonderland, Shining Star and After the Love has Gone.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1992 but his condition was reported to have got worse in recent months.
Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, and Maurice White was individually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.
Earth, Wind & Fire have sold more than 90 million albums worldwide.
Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on February 4: “My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep.
“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.”
A former session drummer, Maurice White formed a band called Salty Peppers in the Chicago area in the late 1960s.
He subsequently moved to Los Angeles, disposing of all of the band members except his brother Verdine. The band was renamed Earth, Wind & Fire after the three elements in his astrological chart.
Many of the group’s earlier hits were characterized by Bailey’s bright falsetto voice.
Earth, Wind & Fire is perhaps best known for its exuberant, horn-driven mix of jazz, funk, gospel and Big Band music played at concerts where they performed in glitzy costumes underneath multi-colored lights. They played at many top venues including the Super Bowl and the White House.