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Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White dies at age 74

Image: Maurice White of the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” sings during the 15th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction dinner in New York, in this file photo taken March 6, 2000. REUTERS/Jeff Christensen/Files

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Maurice White, the founder of R&B funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, died in Los Angeles at age 74, a band spokesman said.

White died at his home on Wednesday night, publicist Mark Young said. Details on the cause of death were not immediately available.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White’s brother and fellow band member Verdine White said in a statement posted on the band’s Facebook page.

“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,” he added.

Earth, Wind & Fire was founded by White, a sessions drummer, in 1969 after he moved from Chicago to Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning band enjoyed numerous hits including “Shining Star,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “September.”

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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