EARTH, WIND & FIRE
Members: Maurice White, Verdine White, Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, ect..
Genre: Soul, R&B
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Awards: Six Grammys
Albums: That’s the Way of the World, Gratitude, Spirit, All ‘N All, I Am, Faces, Raise
Hits: “Shining Star,” “Sing a Song,” “Got to Get You into My Life,” After the Love Has Gone,” “Let’s Groove”
From the 1970s to the present day, Earth, Wind and Fire have endured as one of the timeless acts of funk, R&B and blues, blending various music genres into a dynamic force that continues to be successful. The enduring sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire's horn section, the smooth falsetto of lead singer Maurice White and the band's catchy grooves helped them to break into a variety of charts and bring funk to the masses. With the band's seamless ability to improvise like a jazz band, play slow ballads and break right back into funk riffs, Earth, Wind and Fire created a proven formula that spawned a new generation of artists.
Earth, Wind and Fire's first few albums helped them break onto the scene and make waves in the early funk scene of the 1970s. It wasn't until their second release with Columbia Records, Head to the Sky, that the band first broke onto the charts. The album hit No. 27 on the pop charts and No. 2 on the Billboard R&B charts. The band finally got its first chart-topping hit in 1975 upon the release of That's the Way of the World. The single "Shining Star" would become a dance club anthem, reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and net the group a series of Grammy Awards.
All in All was Earth, Wind and Fire's fifth studio album and achieved platinum sales, as well as giving the group a series of Grammy Awards. The band also surprised observers by the strong airplay of their cover of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper and the Lonely Hearts Club Band track, "Got to Get You Into My Life." The song is still a favorite at Earth, Wind and Fire concerts and hit No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts.
Earth, Wind and Fire continued to be a factor in the 1980s and '90s, working with a variety of accomplished artists over the years. While Maurice Smith has become the band's producer, songwriter and occasional vocalist, the new lineup has a few new members and continues to enthrall audiences all over the country. Ever since they broke onto the scene in the early 1970s, Earth, Wind and Fire has remained one of the most popular funk and R&B acts around and has made an indelible impact on American music.