Maurice White, the founder of soul group Earth, Wind and Fire, has died at the age of 74.
The singer/songwriter died in his sleep on Thursday in Los Angeles, his brother has confirmed.
He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which he was diagnosed with in 1992.
Maurice performing with Earth, Wind and Fire in 1979
Verdine White, Maurice’s bandmate as well as his brother, told the Associated Press: “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.”
Maurice and his brother, Verdine, photographed out together in 2007
Earth, Wind and Fire were founded in 1969, and went on to release 90 million albums worldwide, and are probably best remembered for their hit singles, the disco staples ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and ‘September’.
In 1979, the group won a Grammy for their cover of The Beatles’ ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’, and were inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2000.
Away from the group, Maurice worked as a songwriter, penning hits for some of the biggest names in music, with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond just two of them.
Maurice also worked with Cher, The Emotions and jazz musician Brian Culbertson, among various others.
Listen to Earth, Wind and Fire's signature tune, ‘September’, below: