Obits: Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer Fred White; Gangsta Boo; Anita Pointer Of The Pointer Sisters & Modest Mouse Drummer Jeremiah Green

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Photo of Earth, Wind & Fire drummer Fred White by Rob Verhorst/Redferns via Getty Images

Earth, Wind & Fire Drummer Fred White Dies At Age 67

Drummer Fred White, who backed up his brothers Maurice and Verdine White in the Grammy-winning ensemble Earth, Wind & Fire, has died. He was 67.

Verdine White, a vocalist, percussionist and bass player for the band, posted Sunday on his Instagram account that his younger brother Frederick Eugene “Freddie” White had died. He didn’t say how or where his brother died.

Earth, Wind & Fire began in 1970 under the leadership of Maurice White, who created a band that could combine elements of jazz, funk, R&B, soul, dance, pop and rock, and celebrated African musicianship and spiritualism. Driven by their horn section the Phenix Horns and a reputation for energetic and bombastic live performances, the group’s popularity grew after they moved to Columbia Records, which was then under the leadership of Clive Davis.

Fred White was already an accomplished drummer, playing for Donny Hathaway, before he joined Earth, Wind & Fire in the mid-1970s. Paired alongside drummer and percussionist Ralph Johnson, the band’s rhythm section was tight and upbeat and set the stage for songs like “Boogie Wonderland” and “September” to become instant favorites.

Verdine White called his brother Fred was a gifted child musician, “with gold records at the young age of 16 years old!” Fred White remained with the band until 1983.

“But more than that at home and beyond he was the wonderful bro that was always entertaining and delightfully mischievous! And we could always count on him to make a seemingly bad situation more light hearted!” wrote White.

Some of the band’s biggest hits are still widely popular, often sampled and used in countless movies. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, played the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show and has six Grammys. The band’s “Got to Get You Into My Life” was on President Barack Obama’s first Spotify playlist.

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,” ″Shining Star” and a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life.”

Maurice White died at the age of 74 in 2016.

Gangsta Boo, A Former Member Of Three 6 Mafia, Dies At 43

Gangsta Boo, a Southern rapper who was a former member of the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, has died. She was 43.

Lola “Gangsta Boo″ Mitchell was found dead Sunday in Memphis, Tennessee, her hometown. The cause of death has not been released.

“The Mitchell family would like to thank everyone for their condolences regarding the untimely death of Lola ‘Gangsta Boo’ Mitchell,” said the rapper’s mother Veronica Mitchell and family in a statement issued Monday. “The family is asking for your continued prayers and privacy as we process the loss of our loved one.”

The rapper launched her career at age of 14 when she was noticed by DJ Paul, a founding member of Three 6 Mafia. By 15, she joined the rap collective, which included notable members DJ Paul, Juicy J, Crunchy Black and Lord Infamous.

Gangsta Boo gained instant notoriety with her shoot-from-the-hip, rapid-fire rap flow on Three 6 Mafia’s 1995 debut album “Mystic Stylez,” which became a cult classic. She appeared on five more of the group’s albums, including “Chapter 2: World Domination” and the platinum-selling “When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1.”

In 1998, she branched out with her debut solo album “Enquiring Minds.” The album was highlighted by “Where Dem Dollas At,” featuring Juicy J and DJ Paul.

After Three 6 Mafia released “Choices: The Album” in 2001, she left the group to focus on her solo career. She dropped her sophomore album, “Both Worlds (asterisk)69,” which reached No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart. Her third album, “Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera,” was released in 2003.

During her career, Gangsta Boo collaborated with popular artists including OutKast, Eminem, Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, E-40 and T.I. This year, she appeared on Latto’s “FTCU” that also included GloRilla.

Last month, Gangsta Boo said she was on the verge of releasing her fourth studio album “The BooPrint,” this year. Last week, she filmed an unreleased video, “Imma Mack,” with producer Drumma Boy.

“Gangsta Boo was like a sister to me and told the world about me the way my blood brother did,” Drumma Boy said in a statement. “We both are Leos and share the same energy towards unity and seeing people happy! This is just such a devastating loss cuz she always wanted to see others win! RIP to the Queen Of Memphis, forever my sister.”

Singer Anita Pointer of The Pointer Sisters Dies At Age 74

Anita Pointer, one of four sibling singers who earned pop success and critical acclaim as The Pointer Sisters, died Saturday at the age of 74, her publicist announced.

The Grammy winner passed away while she was with family members, publicist Roger Neal said in a statement. A cause of death was not immediately revealed.

“While we are deeply saddened by the loss of Anita, we are comforted in knowing she is now with her daughter Jada and her sisters June & Bonnie and at peace. She was the one that kept all of us close and together for so long,” her sister Ruth, brothers Aaron and Fritz and granddaughter Roxie McKain Pointer said in the statement.

Anita Pointer’s only daughter, Jada Pointer, died in 2003.

Anita, Ruth, Bonnie and June Pointer, born the daughters of a minister, grew up singing in their father’s church in Oakland, California.

The group’s 1973 self-titled debut album included the breakout hit, “Yes We Can Can.” Known for hit songs including “I’m So Excited,” “Slow Hand,” “Neutron Dance” and “Jump (For My Love),” the singers gained a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.

The 1983 album “Break Out” went triple platinum and garnered two American Music Awards. The group won three Grammy Awards and had 13 U.S. top 20 hit songs between 1973 and 1985, Neal said.

The Pointer Sisters also was the first African American group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry program and the first contemporary act to perform at the San Francisco Opera House, Neal said.

Bonnie Pointer left the group in 1977, signing a solo deal with Motown Records but enjoying only modest success. “We were devastated,” Anita Pointer said of the departure in 1990. “We did a show the night she left, but after that, we just stopped. We thought it wasn’t going to work without Bonnie.”

The group, in various lineups including younger family members, continued recording through 1993.

June Pointer died of cancer at the age of 52 in 2006.

Anita Pointer announced Bonnie Pointer’s death resulting from cardiac arrest at the age of 69 in 2020. “The Pointer Sisters would never have happened had it not been for Bonnie,” she said in a statement.

Jeremiah Green, Modest Mouse Drummer, Dead From Cancer At 45

Jeremiah Green, the founding drummer for the rock band Modest Mouse, has died just days after the band announced he had been diagnosed with cancer. He was 45.

“Today we lost our dear friend Jeremiah. He laid down to rest and simply faded out,” according to a statement posted Saturday on the band’s social media accounts. “Please appreciate all the love you give, get, have given, and will get. Above all, Jeremiah was about love.”

Green was barely in his teens when he joined the newly formed Modest Mouse, which featured singer-guitarist Isaac Brock and bassist Eric Judy among others. Modest Mouse was originally based in the Seattle suburb Issaquah and later relocated to Portland. Its name originates from a passage by Virginia Woolf, who once described everyday individuals as “modest mouse-coloured people.”

Influenced by Talking Heads and XTC among others, Modest Mouse debuted in 1996 with the album “This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About” and built a substantial critical following before having mainstream success with their fourth release, “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” and the singles “Float On” and “Ocean Breathes Salty.”

Green had a breakdown around the time of “Good News for People Who Love Bad News,” released in 2004, and briefly left the band. He was back for more recent albums, including “Strangers to Ourselves” and “The Golden Casket,” which came out in 2021.