Earth, Wind & Fire is an American funk band, formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1969. Led by Maurice White, they are best known for their hits of the 1970s, among them "After the Love Has Gone", "September," "Reasons," "Fantasy" and "Shining Star." Earth, Wind & Fire became the first black performers to headline throughout the world without an opening act, to receive Madison Square Garden's Gold Ticket Award for selling more than 100,000 tickets and to receive the Columbia Records Crystal Globe Award for selling more than five million albums in foreign markets. They have gained the BET's Lifetime Achievement Award and ASCAP's Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award. EW&F was disbanded in 1983, but in 1987 CBS Records convinced Philip Bailey and Maurice White to reunite the group. The group managed to continue into the 90's with releases such as "Heritage","Millennium",and "In the Name of Love " in 1997. However, due to Parkinson's Disease, Maurice retired from the road but still continued to produce and sing on the group's recordings. In 2000, the original '70s edition of Earth, Wind & Fire reunited for one night only in honor of their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. The documentary entitled 'Earth, Wind & Fire: Shining Stars', which contains rarely seen historic video footage along with in-depth interviews with the band members was released in 2001
While not as prolific as in their '70's heyday, Earth, Wind & Fire released "The Promise" in 2003 and the criticially acclaimed "Illumination", which featured current contemporary r& b guests such as Will I Am, Rafael Saddiq, and Brian McKnight. A very successful tour in 2007 and DVD release, paired the group with former Columbia label mates, Chicago. While still touring, Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Maurice's brother, Verdine White remain as the group's only original members. Maurice White died on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at his home in Los Angeles. White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson's Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing.