Earth, Wind & Fire made history this month, becoming the first Black group inducted into Kennedy Center Honors.
And the group’s original members were in attendance for the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which aired on CBS over the weekend, where the star-studded event also included a celebrity performance of the iconic group’s 1978 hit single, “September.”
Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, and the Jonas Brothers led the tribute with Ne-Yo and producer David Foster joining the fun as stars like Tom and Rita Hanks, Sally Field, and the members of Earth, Wind & Fire danced along in the audience.
And while many on Twitter praised Legend and Erivo for their contributions, the Jonas Brothers’ appearance made some question why they were onstage instead of, let’s say, Boyz II Men, Bell Biv Devoe or even Tony! Toni! Tone!
Despite the online chatter, the Kennedy Center Honors did make sure to pay tribute to one member who couldn’t make the tribute. Earth, Wind & Fire members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson, and Verdine White remembered their late bandmate Maurice White, who passed away in 2016.
Johnson told Billboard that White’s DNA was part of every Earth, Wind & Fire song.
“He’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision,” he said.