Produced in Chicago, Illinois, in 1951, Verdine White grew up to be a gifted bass player. When he was still a teen, Maurice White (his older brother) encouraged him to join Earth, Wind & Fire. He’s won six Grammy Awards and is an associate of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
His dad was a physician, but Verdine followed in the footsteps of other relatives, like his grandpa and his older brother, Maurice White, and pursued music. On time, he turned right into a gifted bass player.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – (Photograph by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
In 1970, Maurice, the creator of Earth, Wind & Fire, encouraged Verdine to join him in La, California, and turn into an associate of the group. Verdine remained in the group as its membership was reconfigured several years after, welcoming beginners like vocalist Philip Bailey, guitarist Al McKay and keyboardist Larry Dunn.
Between 1973 and 1983, Earth, Wind & Fire became an enormous, chart-topping success. The group melded pop, R&B and other musical influences on a series of gold and platinum records, and also received six Grammy Awards. Their concerts were known for remarkable accomplishments of showmanship, including Verdine being lifted to the air while he continued to play bass guitar.
Maurice’s identification with Parkinson’s disease made him withdraw from touring in the 1990s. Nevertheless, Verdine remained on the trail with Bailey and percussionist Ralph Johnson. Earth, Wind & Fire also played in the White House for both the Clinton and Obama governments.
As a songwriter who brought to many popular Earth, Wind & Fire tunes, including “Fantasy,” “Serpentine Fire” and “That Is The Way of The World,” Verdine additionally joined the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010.
Verdine is married to Shelly Clark, who had been an associate of the 1970s girl group Honey Cone.