Earth, Wind & Fire Saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk Dead At 71

Photo: Getty Images

Legendary saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire Andrew Woolfolk has died, according to TMZ. Woolfolk was age 71.

After a six-year battle with illness, Woolkfolk died on Sunday (April 24), per the band's lead singer Philip Bailey's Instagram.

An original member of one of the most successful bands of all time, Woolfolk's saxophone added to Earth, Wind & Fire's unique fusion of R&B, soul, disco, and funk. The longtime musician joined the band in 1972 and contributed to their record-breaking hits "Boogie Wonderland," "September," "Let's Groove," and more.

Woolfolk also played with other artists including Phil Collins, Valerie Carter, and Deniece Williams. In the 80s, the saxophonist had a short stint as a soloist releasing “The Wonders of His Love” and “Triumph,” which won him a Grammy for Best Male Gospel Performance. Woolfolk rejoined EW&F in 1987 and stayed with the band until 1993.

Rolling Stone described the group as "innovative, precise yet sensual, calculated yet galvanizing" and said they "changed the sound of black pop." In 2000, Woolfolk along with the other members of Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Together the group sold over 90 million records.

In a touching Instagram post, Bailey, the band's lead falsetto singer, paid homage to the late saxophonist.

"Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski... I'll see you on the other side, my friend," Bailey captioned his post.

Rest in peace, Andrew.

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