In 1972, he joined Earth, Wind & Fire, being a core member of the group as its mixture of pop and R&B tunes began to reach audiences. After years of succeeding, he left the group in 1980. A five-time Grammy Award winner, McKay has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Al McKay was born on February 2, 1948, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
McKay was in Earth, Wind & Fire when the group first tasted success with all the 1973 record Head to the Sky. He also worked as a producer and songwriter, and helped compose a number of the group’s best-loved tunes, including “September,” “Sing a Song” and “Saturday Nite.”
He left the group following the record Faces (1980), which meant he did not take part in their sixth triumph for “Wanna Be With You” (1982). In acknowledgement of his achievements using the group, McKay was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. A decade after, he also entered the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
The other members of Earth, Wind & Fire took a rest in 1983; McKay failed to rejoin those who began working together again in 1987. Nevertheless, in 1990, he put together his own group, the LA Allstars, which afterwards became the Al McKay Allstars. McKay’s new group proceeds to perform all over the world.
Within an interview he gave in 2013 to Tahiti’s Radio 1, McKay said that his performances using the Allstars were chances to revisit the Earth, Wind & Fire tunes he enjoyed best. In the exact same interview, he also noted that being part of the group and its particular originality had been “a real delight,” and said he still considers his former bandmates as brothers.