Earth, Wind & Fire Star Andrew Woolfolk Dies Aged 72


Tributes have been paid to the late Earth, Wind & Saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk who has died aged 72.

His death was confirmed by bandmate and long term friend Phil Bailey.

“Met him in High School, and we quickly became friends and band mates. Andrew Paul Woolfolk was his name. We lost him today, after being ill of over 6 years”, Bailey also wrote.

He also added, “He has Transitioned on to the forever, from this Land of the dying to the Land of the Living. Great memories. Great Talent. Funny. Competitive. Quick witted. And always styling. Booski…I’ll see you on the other side, my friend”. 

You can also see Bailey’s post in full here.

Andrew Woolfolk

Andrew Woolfolk was asked to join Earth, Wind & Fire by Phil Bailey in 1972.

He was a school friend of Bailey, who asked him to join the band following the departure of Ronnie Laws.

Woolfolk left the band in 1985, before returning to them following a break in 1987 until 1993.

During Woolfolk’s time with the band, Earth, Wind & Fire also released some of their classic tunes, including ‘Boogie Wonderland, ‘Shining Star’ and of course ‘September’. Do you remember?

Along with Earth, Wind & Fire, Woolfolk also worked as a session musician and a touring performer for household names such as Phil Collins, Level 42 and Deniece Williams.

Tributes Paid

Musician Brandon Williams paid tribute to the late musician.

“Rest well, Andrew Woolfolk”, he also wrote. “Saxophonist for Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic period. One of my absolute favorites because he made every note count. You may not know his face or his name, but he was an integral part of THE sound. Wow…”. 

“Thank you for the music, brother”. 

Andrew Woolfolk was also inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2000. The committee paid also paid tribute to the saxophonist.

They also wrote, “2000 Inductee Andrew Woolfolk’s expressive saxophone playing was a key contribution to the boldly experimental sound of @EarthWindFire. The band forever changed the face of rock & roll, bringing together thrilling music with uplifting messages of Black pride and spiritual unity”. 

The Director of Arts and Culture in Detroit, Rochelle Riley also paid tribute.

Back in January, John Lind who wrote Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘Boogie Wonderland’ also passed away. More on that here.