Remembering a Music Master: Maurice White (1941-2016)


The music world has loss giants thus far in 2016. I was first saddened by the loss of a musical fave – Ms. Natalie Cole – on New Year’s Eve. To me she was elegance, music and melody personified, yet I couldn’t bring myself to write about it. But I had to briefly put pen to paper and gather my thoughts on the loss of the musical maestro that is Maurice White.

Promotional portrait of American singers Maurice White Natalie Cole embracing for Cole's television special, 1978. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Promotional portrait of American singers Maurice White Natalie Cole embracing for Cole’s television special, 1978. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)

Like Ms. Cole, Mr. White and the band he founded – the legendary soul, funk, jazz collective known as Earth, Wind & Fire, also fondly called “The Elements” by die-hard fans like myself – formed the soundtrack of my childhood, and have remained in “constant” rotation throughout my adult years, along with other treasured favorites like Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and the late, great Michael Jackson.

I summed up my thoughts on Mr. White today on Facebook by stating that I had no problem believing I was a shining star, and knew to keep my head to the sky through any adversity because of Maurice White. He created universal anthems and music to feed the soul.

And for his part, White collected seven Grammy awards, was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame – with brother Verdine White, Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn and Al McKay – in 2010, and added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 – along with his EWF band mates.

Earth, Wind & Fire were also recently selected as lifetime achievement honorees for this year’s Grammys. It will be wonderful to see a fitting tribute to the band and especially its founder – so I’m hoping if a tribute is offered that it’s done well. But personally, I’ve been blasting a musical tribute since the sad news of Mr. White’s death broke Thursday, and it has been bittersweet listening to say the least. On the one hand, it hurts that so many of our greats are leaving. Yet on the other hand, how fortunate we are to have been blessed with the musical legacies they each have bestowed.

My prayers are with Maurice White’s family, friends and band mates during this time. Be encouraged and be ever wonderful.

Until next thought, Thomasena



  1. Maurice White was indeed the personality of Earth Wind & Fire. I’ll never forget his voice on That’s The Way Of The World.
    R.I.P. Maurice White.
    Thanks for presenting this.

    Liked by 1 person

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