Earth, Wind & Fire: America's seventh top-selling musical group of all-time, was born in Chicago in 1969 and is still going strong in its fifth decade, making music that crosses years and decades and now connects the 20th and 21st centuries.
Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, Earth, Wind & Fire has earned eight Grammy Awards and four American Music Awards alongside numerous other accolades including the prestigious Soul Train Legend Award. EWF has sold more than 90 million albums worldwide and is one of the world's top touring bands.
In 2013, Legacy Recordings announced the release of Now, Then & Forever, the first new studio album from Earth, Wind & Fire since 2005's Grammy-nominated Illuminations.
"The Now, Then & Forever album is really about the legacy of Earth, Wind & Fire," said the group's co-founder Philip Bailey. "The spirit of the band has always been about uplifting the consciousness of humanity. There's a hope that this Earth, Wind & Fire music will go on forever."
It's a spirit echoed by fellow EWF co-founder Verdine White, who emphasizes the importance of the band's incredible fanbase in the group's abiding success. "The album gave us the opportunity to tie everything together musically and culturally," he explains. "Without the support of the fans around the world, the Earth, Wind & Fire journey would not have been possible. We dedicate this album, Now, Then & Forever, to all the fans." The first single, from the new album is, “My Promise.”
With the release of Now, Then & Forever, the ultimate celebration of Earth, Wind & Fire, an exciting new phase is igniting for the iconic American soul-funk-fusion powerhouse Rolling Stone said "changed the sound of pop."
Fall 2013 finds Earth, Wind & Fire bringing the sounds of Now, Then & Forever to concert audiences across the country. The brainchild of music legend/bandleader Maurice White (whose diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease necessitated his retirement as an on-stage EWF member in 1994), Earth, Wind & Fire is to this day one of the top touring acts of all time with founding members Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson performing to sold-audiences around the world.
One of the most important, innovative, and commercially invincible contemporary R&B/pop/funk forces of the 20th century and beyond, Earth, Wind & Fire has been one of the world's most reliably transcendent party bands for more than four decades. With a signature sound beyond categories and a groove as deep as the soul of the planet, Earth, Wind & Fire has proved--since it's inception--profoundly influential...musically, socially and spiritually.
Successfully breaking musical genre boundaries across 23 albums. EWF have recorded eight #1 R&B singles and eight Double Platinum Top 10 Pop Albums over the group's career.
EWF has earned more than 50 gold and platinum albums and sold over 90 million albums worldwide earning them a solid spot on the list of all-time bestselling music artists. VH1 ranked Earth, Wind & Fire #60 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
Many contemporary artists and superstars--including Usher, Beyoncé and Prince (who thanked EWF in his British Hall of Fame induction acceptance speech)--have come out as Earth, Wind & Fire fans. Alicia Keys proclaimed EWF " the best band ever" while Mary J. Blige showed her love for the band in her own version of the band's hit "Imagination."´ The Black Eyed Peas took the stage with EWF with a performance at the XXIX Super Bowl, and again when opening the 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
The worldwide EWF fanbase extends to include heads-of-state. President Bill Clinton invited the group to the White House in 2000 as special guests at a State dinner and, in February 2009, President Barack Obama invited Earth, Wind & Fire to perform in the East Room at the White House for the first social event of the new administration, declaring in an interview with Rolling Stone that EWF were "rhythm and blues and pop staples for me."
Earth, Wind & Fire's career achievements have secured the group's place in musical history. Earth, Wind & Fire have been inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2000) and have received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (1995) and Hollywood's Rockwalk (2003). Earth, Wind & Fire was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Award in 2003. The ensemble has earned Lifetime Achievement honors from ASCAP, NAACP, and the BET Awards. The American Music Awards awarded the group with four trophies.
In April of 2014, lead singer Philip Bailey released his memoir SHINING STAR: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire. Shining Star is a story of triumph and challenges —chronicling the band’s iconic rise to the top.
Three of the group's principle members--Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson--have each earned honorary doctorate degrees from the Columbia College in Chicago. Philip Bailey and founder Maurice White have earned doctorate degrees at Berklee College of Music. In June 2010, Philip Bailey, Maurice White and Verdine White were inducted into the Song Writer's Hall of Fame.
The Grammy Awards have exemplified EWF's ongoing relevance and connection with contemporary R&B and Pop artists, showcasing the group twice on both the 2005 and 2007 television events. The musical highlight at the 2005 broadcast included joining forces with Outkast, in what was the groundbreaking hip-hop group's last television appearance. In 2007, EWF appeared with the top nominees Ludacris and Mary J. Blige in a heartfelt performance with a poignant message to raise the social consciousness of teenage run-aways.
Earth, Wind & Fire's songs haven been covered by an eclectic roster of artists and has influenced many artists including, Prince, Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Jay Z, Usher, P. Diddy,, wil .i.am and more
Gabrielle Walter-Clay: At just barely 20 years old, singer-songwriter and San Francisco native, Gabrielle Walter-Clay, relays powerful messages with her honest, soulful voice and commanding presence. Her sound is a unique fusion of old and new. It is evident she is heavily influenced by the greats, as old school sounds of Soul, Jazz and R&B shine through her fresh and memorable hooks, melodies and lyrics.