How Earth, Wind and Fire’s Maurice White Copes With Parkinson’s Disease
photo: Denise Truscello, WireImage
Before Earth, Wind and Fire's electrifying performance Wednesday, during the "Soul Train Cruise"'s stop in Puerta Vallarta, members Verdine White, Ralph Johnson and Phillip Bailey offered an update on the health of group founder Maurice White.
Maurice has been battling Parkinson's Disease for more than 20 years.
During an interview with cruise host Dane Butcher, Verdine, Maurice's younger brother and group bassist, thanks fans for their support.
"Everybody knows that he has Parkison's," Verdine said. "Thank you for your prayers and wishes. It was a pivotal moment for the three of us, having to go out without him and he gave us his blessings."
Ralph explained how they keep Maurice's legacy alive.
"Whenever we perform his spirit is on the stage," Ralph said. "Maurice's spirit lives through the music. He was the architect of Earth, Wind and Fire."
Phillip added that though Maurice is out of the limelight, he is doing OK.
"His spirits are still strong. He still runs things like he normally runs. He's just not doing a lot of the things that he was doing in the past. But his life is just as full and just as rich and richer in some cases as it was before."
In a 2000 interview with Rolling Stone, Maurice revealed his struggle with the neurological disease.