Still Shining Stars: Earth, Wind & Fire Talk Musical Legacy and Share the Stories Behind Their Most Iconic Songs

June is Black Music Month, and what better way to celebrate than to be joined by the iconic 1970's group Earth, Wind & Fire (EWF)?

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We’ve got some legends in the room, y’all!

Formed in 1970 by Maurice White (who passed away in 2016 after battling Parkinson’s disease), Earth, Wind & Fire consider their music to be a “spiritual journey.” Today the group’s surviving members—Verdine White, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson— still bring their genre-defying sounds to the masses.

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Put some respect on Earth, Wind & Fire’s name.

Their recent Verzuz with the Isley Brothers was Black joy, in the purest form. Black Twitter went wild, and for good reason. In case you missed it, EWF is six-time Grammy Award-winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inductees, who were also Kennedy Center Honorees. And their accolades continue to roll-in. In fact, the group is to be honored at the The Salute THEM Awards (presented by AARP and Toyota) airing on BNC this Sunday, June 6 at 10PM EST—the show will also be streaming via SaluteTHEMAwards.com at 7PM EST.

How does one become of legend?

“One thing is you have to be committed to the work, you have to do the work. It starts there,” said Ralph Johnson.

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Vocalist Philip Bailey weighed-in, “I don’t think that legacy is something that you infer upon yourself, as much as people infer that upon you. Once your contribution has stood the test of time.”

“Your legacy is created by the people that you touch,” said White, finally.

For those who might not know how this super group actually became a super-group—allow the icons to school you. Listen as EWF explains the behind-the-scenes moments of some of their most iconic songs.

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Watch our walk down memory lane with the Black messiahs, Earth, Wind & Fire above.

Afro-Cuban woman that was born and branded in New York. When León isn't actually creating cool videos, she's thinking of cool videos that she can create.

DISCUSSION

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Some of my earliest memories are EWF, my mother always put on music Saturdays to get the house moving and shaking. I can recall being resentful when my dad told me music like this would still be played when I was an old man and that “rap stuff” I was listening to was just a fad. He wasn’t exactly correct about hip-hop, but I get a kick out of how over the years, I continued to embrace more and more of the music he came up with in addition to my own generation’s evolving sound. Now I’m hurdling toward 50 and a good time for me is sitting out back with my dogs, a cigar, drink, and a playlist full of EWF, Isley Brothers, and no interruptions.

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