Sheldon Reynolds of Earth, Wind & Fire and The Commodores De@d at 63

Sheldon Reynolds of Earth, Wind & Fire and The Commodores De@d at 63

Sheldon Reynolds, an American singer and guitarist, has passed away. He was 63. Reynolds’ demise was reported by his previous Earth, Wind and Fire bandmate, Philip Bailey.”This news of Sheldon Reynolds transition is very sad for all of us who knew and worked with him,” Bailey wrote on Facebook of the Ohio native.
He praised Reynolds’ impressive musical skills in the tribute, which also included a photo of the band’s greatest hits sheet music book.

“Sheldon vocally had Reese down. That’s what Maurice said when he hired Sheldon to share vocals and play guitar,” Bailey wrote of Maurice White, the founder and frontman of Earth, Wine & Fire.

“Sheldon was an excellent addition to the band, a great writer and producer, and a genuinely kind and loving person,” Bailey continued. “He will be missed. Our condolences to his family. Rest in peace.”

He added that he was “listening to ‘Sunday Morning,'” referencing the band’s 1993 Grammy-nominated hit, as he bid farewell to his friend.Reynolds’ music career began with an opening act slot on tour with R&B artist Millie Jackson in the 1970s. He then went on to join the disco and funk band Sun for a brief period before becoming a member of The Commodores in 1983. Their 1977 hits “Easy” and “Brickhouse” had propelled the Tuskegee University band into a nationwide phenomenon.

Reynolds stayed with the funk and soul band — for whom Lionel Richie was a frontman and original member before his departure in 1982 — for four years, earning his first-ever Grammy award for the band’s “Nightshift,” which won best R&B performance by a duo or group with vocals in 1985. Two years later, he joined Earth, Wind & Fire following the band’s brief hiatus. As Bailey noted in his tribute to Reynolds, the band’s founder and lead singer, Maurice White — who died in 2016 from Parkinson’s disease — had been the one to hire Reynolds.

During his tenure with the band, he was nominated for his second Grammy for “Sunday Morning,” which Bailey cited in his posthumous social media tribute, and played on many of the band’s albums including 1987’s Touch the World, the band’s second greatest hits album, The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 2 (1988) and Millenium (1993).

In 1994, he was inducted into the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band, who also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that same year.Reynolds’ death comes just three months before the band is set to take the stage once again, this time with fellow R&B legend Richie, 73.

Earth, Wind & Fire and Richie are teaming up for the Sing a Song All Night Long Tour, which will see them hit cities all across North America between August and September.

“Well, my friends, the time has come to announce a tour — not just any tour, but the tour I’ve been trying to do for years, and now it’s going to actually happen,” Richie said in a video shared to social media alongside the tour announcement in March. “This is the place you need to be.”


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