The music world has lost another legend.
Maurice White, founder of Earth, Wind & Fire died on Thursday at 74 after a battle with Parkinson's disease.
"My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep," White's younger brother, Verdine, shared 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. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes."
The bandleader and producer for most of EWF's albums, White was nominated for 21 GRAMMY Awards, winning seven in his time with the band. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Earth, Wind & Fire in 2000, and also individually inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.
White was diagnosed with Parkinson's in the late '80s, and stopped touring with EWF in 1994, though he retained executive control over the group. The band continues to tour to this day, with a lineup that includes White's brother, Verdine, as the bassist and backup vocalist.
"We are very saddened to learn of the passing of seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Maurice White," said Neil Portnow, President and CEO of The Recording Academy -- who are honoring Earth, Wind & Fire with their Lifetime Achievement Award this year -- in a statement. "Maurice was the guiding force behind the group's success and helped create hit songs such as 'Shining Star,' 'September,' 'After The Love Has Gone,' and so many memorable others. His unerring instincts as a musician and showman helped propel the band to international stardom, influencing countless fellow musicians in the process. While he will be greatly missed, Maurice's contributions to music will live on. We offer our condolences to his family, friends and creative collaborators."
White's powerful and widespread influence was felt as the news of his death broke and celebs took to Twitter to share their memories of the famed artist.
Maurice White. You were there when we were born,when we graduated,when we connected with our families,when we mourned,when we got married.— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) February 5, 2016
together for the children of the world - theres a star smiling for us all - maurice white - I AM - RIP— Rosie (@Rosie) February 4, 2016
Rest in Peace Mr. Maurice White. @EarthWindFire is one of the greatest groups ever assembled. Thanks for the memories & the inspiration.— Sir Mix-A-Lot (@therealmix) February 5, 2016
RIP Maurice White— Margaret Cho (@margaretcho) February 4, 2016
On a set where we just got the sad news. Maurice White! Founder of EARTH, WIND AND FIRE. His genius was the soundtrack of my college years.— Arsenio Hall (@ArsenioHall) February 5, 2016
#MauriceWhite R.I.P I know you're up in Boogie Wonderland!Condolences to his friends and family— Debi Mazar (@debimazar) February 5, 2016
Totally #heartbroken to hear of Maurice White's passing. My fav singer of all time and a man of pure elegance and kindness. RIP my friend— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) February 5, 2016
RIP Maurice White. Sleep well. #EarthWindAndFire 😢— Damon Wayans Yunior? (@wayansjr) February 4, 2016
Our brother Maurice White passed peacefully in his sleep this morning.— Earth, Wind & Fire (@EarthWindFire) February 4, 2016
The light is he, shining on you and me. pic.twitter.com/ppWTHKUyG6