Few groups defined the '70s so much as Earth, Wind & Fire, and just about none had such a wealth of influences, from R&B to Indian to African to gospel to disco. Celebrating freedom and music, Earth, Wind & Fire became known for their exuberant stage shows, their vocal and horn arrangements, and the two distinctive voices of founder Maurice White and later arrival Philip Bailey.
Though White founded the first version of the group in 1969 in Chicago, it wasn't until after several years of personnel changes and dues-paying that Earth, Wind & Fire had their first hit. In 1975, they wrote and performed music for an obscure movie that went nowhere, but fortunately they'd seen the problem and released their own soundtrack album. One of the tracks, "Shining Star," topped the R&B and pop charts, and for the rest of the decade, platinum album followed platinum album.
Though their sales waned somewhat in later decades, Earth, Wind & Fire continue to perform and record. They released a new album, The Promise, in 2003, and toured in 2004 with Chicago.