Earth, Wind & Fire Becomes First Black Group Inducted Into Kennedy Center Honors
Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Earth, Wind & Fire made history over the weekend as they became the first Black group inducted into Kennedy Center Honors. Talk about iconic!

Original members Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson were in attendance for the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, held inside Washington, D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where they paid tribute to late member and founder Maurice White.

Johnson told Billboard, “You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it, so he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision.”

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Along with Earth, Wind & Fire, other Kennedy Center honorees included singer Linda Ronstadt, Oscar-winning actress Sally Field, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas and the TV show, Sesame Street.

The group, whose hits include classics such as “September,” “Let’s Groove and “Reasons,” released its self-titled debut album in 1971, which is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Bailey told Billboard that the group still has a few things up their sleeve, hinting at a possible duets album.

“We’re making a list, and checking it twice and you’ll hear about it soon,” he hinted.


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