Earth, Wind & Fire is an American R&B band led and founded by Maurice White. Formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1969, the band's all embracing musical vision has seen them fuse Latin, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Pop, Rock, African Music and other genres into one unique sound. The band is also known for the the dynamic sound of their horn section and the interplay between the contrasting vocals of Phillip Bailey's falsetto and Maurice White's tenor.The African influence on Earth, Wind & Fire's music can be partially heard through their use of the kalimba.
Also known as EWF or the Elements, Earth, Wind & Fire has received twenty Grammy Award nominations for their work, winning six. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. They have earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums and have sold over 90 million albums worldwide earning them a place on the list of best-selling music artists.VH1 ranked Earth, Wind & Fire number 60 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
Band leader and founder Maurice White was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941 to a father who was a doctor and an occasional saxophonist. He was a childhood friend of Booker T Jones. In his teenage years he moved to Chicago and found work as a session drummer for Chess Records. He played on the records of artists such as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, Ramsey Lewis, Sonny Stitt, Muddy Waters, The Impressions and Buddy Guy. He also played the drums on Fontella Bass's Rescue Me and Billy Stewart's Summertime . In 1962, along with other studio musicians at Chess, he was a member of the Jazzmen, who later became the Pharaohs. [wikipedia]