Earth, Wind And Fire – Biography
Earth, Wind & Fire also known as EWF, was founded in Chicago by Maurice White in 1969. Other members included Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, and Al McKay. One of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of the twentieth century, Earth, Wind And Fire played mostly soul, disco, R&B, funk, jazz and rock music.
The band released their self-titled debut album, Earth, Wind, Fire, in February 1971. The album was critically acclaimed. In November 1971, they released their second album, The Need of Love, which was also very well received.
In 1973, the album Head to the Sky was released, giving the the group their first two legitimate hit singles. “Evil” and “Keep Your Head to the Sky”. Both these singles reached the top 30 and the top 60 on the R&B and pop charts.
This initial success propelled Earth Wind And Fire to international stardom and their popularity stayed intcat till today. The band’s impressive resume includes 20 Grammy nominations and winning six as a group with two of its members, Maurice White and Bailey, winning separate individual awards. They were also nominated for 12 American Music Awards and won four.
They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and have sold over 90 million albums worldwide. Five members of Earth, Wind & Fire were also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame: Maurice White, Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Larry Dunn and Al McKay. The music industry and fans have bestowed Lifetime Achievement honors from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award – 2002), NAACP (Hall of Fame – 1994) and the BET Awards (Lifetime Achievement Award – 2002).
The band is also known as having been the first African-American performers to sell out Madison Square Garden and to receive the MSG Gold Ticket Award. President Barack Obama invited Earth, Wind & Fire to perform at the White House for the first social event of the new administration.