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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead at 74

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Earth, Wind & Fire Founder Maurice White Dead at 74

Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White, whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums and made hits like “September,” ”Shining Star” and “Boogie Wonderland,” died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles, his brother Verdine said.

White, who was 74, suffered from Parkinson’s Disease and had retreated from the public even as the band he founded kept performing.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” Verdine White, also a member of the band, told The Associated Press on Thursday. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

Earth, Wind & Fire, a nine-piece band centered featuring the two White brothers, singer Philip Bailey and the distinctive horn section, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The band’s most successful period started with the 1975 album “That’s The Way of The World” and continued through the rest of the decade. Other hits included “Serpentine Fire,” ”That’s the Way of the World” and a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life.”

White publicly revealed he had Parkinson’s at the time of the band’s Hall of Fame induction, but he had shown symptoms of the neurological disease back in the 1980s. He stopped touring with the band in 1995 because of weariness from the road combined with his health problems.

White said in an interview with The Associated Press in 2000 that he wanted the band’s music to inspire instead of just entertain.

“That was the whole objective, to try to inspire young people to believe in themselves and to follow through on their ideas,” he said. “We’ve touched so many people with these songs.”

A former session drummer, White founded the band Salty Peppers in the Chicago area in the late 1960s and had some modest success in the Midwest. After relocating to Los Angeles and ditching all of the band members except Verdine, he renamed the outfit Earth, Wind & Fire after the three elements in his astrological chart.

Bailey’s bright falsetto defined many of Earth, Wind & Fire’s hits. “We experienced pure magic together,” Bailey said during the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, standing next to White.

The band’s early sound was jazzy, but evolved into an exuberant, horn-driven mix of jazz, funk, gospel and Big Band music. Their appeal wasn’t just on records but on stage, their concerts a whirl of dancing, fog machines, multi-colored lights and glittery costumes. Earth, Wind & Fire performed everywhere from the Super Bowl to the White House.

Maurice White also had a substantial side career producing other artists, including Barbra Streisand and Cher. In the 1970s, he co-wrote and co-produced the Emotions’ No. 1 hit “Best of My Love.”

White was born in Memphis in 1941, the son of a doctor and grandson of a New Orleans piano player. He showed musical gifts at an early age, studying at the Chicago Conservancy. During the 1960s, he backed Muddy Waters, the Impressions and others and worked as a session drummer in Chicago.

The band performed in the movie, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and had hits with the ballad “After the Love Has Gone,” ”All ‘n’ All,” ”Let’s Groove” and “Fall in Love With Me.” The band took a four-year hiatus in the 1980s and then returned, its primary success then on the road.

“We live in a negative society,” White told Newsweek at the height of the band’s success. “Most people can’t see beauty and love. I see our music as medicine.”

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

ENTERTAINMENT

Beyoncé’s Natural Hair is Hair Goals!

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Beyoncé's Natural Hair is Hair Goals! - Sostre News

Have you seen Beyoncé’s natural hair? Listen, now that is what I call “hair goals”! Her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, has shared a video showing off her famous daughter’s hair on Instagram. In the video Ms Tina is brushing through her multi talented daughter’s hair, and kept saying “au naturale”.

To say that Queen Bey’s hair is “envy enducing” would just be an understatement, that hair is just all kinds of amazing! I mean, if that was my hair I would probably not even wait for my mom to gush about it, I would do the bragging my self. Beyoncé though, isn’t as “petty” as I am, in fact she didn’t seem to appreciate her mother’s antics. She can be heard saying: “Mama, that is really annoying. I mean very annoying”, in a strained laugh.

This is not the first time Ms Tina has gushed over her daughter’s hair on social media. Last year she shared a photo of Queen Bey’s glorious tresses tied in a ponytail, and talked about how happy she was that her daughter’s hair grew back after she had cut it into a pixie.  Ms Tina is obviously proud of her daughter’s hair, but I mean, which mother wouldn’t be?

In fact she is proud of both her daughters, Beyonce and Solange. Back in February, in an interview with ET Online, she gushed over their accomplishments and said the the most rewarding thing is seeing them “grow up, and their accomplishments”.  She also added that the best thing about her daughters is “how good and grounded they both are “.

It seems like I’m not the only one who thinks Queen Bey’s natural hair is beyond amazing, one fan commented on Ms Tina’s post and said: “Beys hair is long like her money, lol. LENGTH BABY! LENGTH!!!!” . Then on Twitter, another posted: “I need her hair routine and products RIGHT NOW! I’m kidding [I’m] sure I can’t afford them.”

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Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Is “Still Alive and Fighting Cancer”

Legendary Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill has died after a longtime battle with pancreatic cancer, TMZ reports. Last month, Bill released a video describing the chemotherapy treatment he’d been receiving for his Stage 4 cancer.

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Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Is “Still Alive and Fighting Cancer”

Legendary Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill has died after a longtime battle with pancreatic cancer, TMZ reports. Last month, Bill released a video describing the chemotherapy treatment he’d been receiving for his Stage 4 cancer.

His death was confirmed by Geto Boys groupmate Scarface this morning, who took to Instagram to pay tribute to the rapper. “RIP Bushwick Bill,” he wrote in his Instagram caption. He was 52.

Bushwick Bill was born on December 8, 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica. The rapper (born Richard Stephen Shaw) moved to Brooklyn, New York in his youth before ultimately settling in Houston, where he joined Geto Boys as a dancer in the late 1980s.

Shaw suffered from dwarfism throughout his life, which informed to his early Geto Boys stage name “Little Billy.” At 3 feet 8 inches tall, he became one of the group’s most memorable contributors, and his image graced the cover of Geto Boys’ 1991 album We Can’t Be Stopped, which depicts groupmates Scarface and Willie D rushing Shaw to the hospital after shooting his own eye out in the summer of 1991. Shaw released six studio albums as a solo artist including 1992’s Little Big Man, 1995’s Phantom of the Rapra, and most recently the 2010 album My Testimony of Redemption.

Last month, Geto Boys announced a farewell tour following Shaw’s cancer diagnosis, which was later cancelled due to his health. According to reports from TMZ, he was also upset by the title of the tour, which implied he was on his deathbed.

Update (12:30pm): Bushwick Bill apparently hasn’t died after all. TMZ has updated their report to note that the musician is “still alive and fighting cancer” according to his publicist. The publicist confirmed his status with hospital staff, who say that the musician is still in their care, with numerous family members by bedside.

Update (1:45pm): In a new post on Instagram, Bushwick Bill’s son confirmed that the Geto Boys musician is still alive. “My dad IS NOT dead, he’s still alive and fighting for his life,” he writes in the post’s caption. “He needs your continued prayers and support. Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it’s messed up because y’all really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill.”

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Nick Jonas Feared Brothers Would ‘Never Speak to Me Again’ After Band Split

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Nick Jonas Feared Brothers Would ‘Never Speak to Me Again’ After Band Split

Just days before the release of the Jonas Brothers’ new album “Happiness Begins” on June 7th, the band sat down with CBS Sunday Morning to discuss their reunion journey and the circumstances behind their breakup.

After the brothers Jonas, Kevin, Joe and Nick, encountered stagnating record and ticket sales and faced internal strife, the band split up in 2013. “To call it creative differences is almost too simple,” Nick said. “And I think a lot of people lost the appetite for what we were putting into the world. So, you know, we were putting up shows that weren’t selling. We were making music that I don’t think we were all super proud of, and it wasn’t connected.”

He explained that the brothers’ relationship was also strained, so he had a “tough conversation” with Kevin and Joe. “I said, ‘You know, I feel like the Jonas Brothers should be no more, and we should go on individual journeys.’ And it didn’t go so well,” he recalls.

At that point, Joe thought that the band was done. “I checked out in my mind that – that was it. There’s going to be no more brothers ever,” he tells Smith.

Nick added, “And I feared that, you know, we – they would never speak to me again.”

Inbetween their breakup, Joe focused on his funky pop project DNCE, while Nick concentrated more on acting and his solo career. Kevin was dedicated to raising his two daughters.

Ultimately, the brothers couldn’t stay apart. “I think we –- we definitely were supposed to go through all of what we went through to get to this point, definitely,” Joe says. “I think it was, it was kind of, I guess you could say destiny, whatever it may be, but yeah, we got a do-over, and I think this time around we’re going to do it right.”

In February, the Jonas Brothers revealed their reunion plans with the release of “Sucker,” which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100. They’ve since released another single titled “Cool.” Alongside the release of their first album in 10 years, the band announced earlier this week that they would release new documentary “Chasing Happiness” on June 4th via Amazon Prime and a memoir titled “Blood” on November 12th.

On August 7th, the Jonas Brothers will head out on a North American tour in support of “Happiness Begins” in Miami.

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