The amazingly talented Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF) has made history by becoming the first Black musical group inducted into the famed Kennedy Center Honors.
The group was found in the 1970s by Maurice White, who helped the group become an instant hit. The sounds of funk, jazz, and soulful R&B won over the hearts of listeners the moments their record players and radios were turned on. For 50 years, EWF produced hit after hit on their way to becoming legends in the game. The group has sold over 100 million records and have also won six Grammys, four American Music Awards, a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, a Soul Train Legend Award, and a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. These accolades make them one of the most successful bands ever!
Deborah Rutter, President of the Kennedy Center said, “In this class of honorees, we are witnessing a uniquely American story: one that is representative of so many cultural touchstones and musical moments that make our nation great. When I look at this class, I see the hopes, aspirations, and achievements not just of these honorees, but of the many generations they have influenced and continue to influence. We’re not just looking back; these honorees are urging us to look forward as well.”
Each of the band's surviving members, Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson attended the 42nd annual award show. They accepted the award on behalf of Maurice White, who passed just three years ago. The group received a musical tribute by Ne-yo, Cynthia Erivo, and John Legend. To close out the performance, EWF performed their classic song, "September".
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