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Earth, Wind & Fire Co-Founder Maurice White Dies At 74

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Maurice White sings alongside Ralph Johnson (left) and Philip Bailey (right) as Earth, Wind and Fire perform during the inaugural 'Grammy Jam Fest' (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
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Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire died yesterday morning in his sleep at age 74. Musician Maurice White died in his Los Angeles home Wednesday morning, TMZ reports. White began showing signs of Parkinson's in the late '80s, and stopped touring in 1995, according to ABC News.

White's brother and fellow bandmate, Verdine White, told the Associated Press today, "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."

White was born in Memphis, Tennessee and began singing with his church as a young boy. After high school, he moved to Chicago where he co-founded R&B and funk act Earth, Wind & Fire in Chicago in 1969. He was the primary songwriter, and provided vocals, kalimba and drums for the band. The band received a total of 20 Grammy nominations, winning six as a band. White and fellow vocalist Philip Bailey each won separate awards. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, while White was individually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Editor's Note: This story originally included a photo only had Earth, Wind & Fire singers Ralph Johnson and Verdine White. It has been replaced with a photo showing Maurice White.