Ex-Earth, Wind & Fire and the Commodores band member Sheldon Reynolds is being remembered by former collaborators as a fine guitarist, singer and songwriter, and an even better person.
Reynolds died Tuesday (March 23) at the age of 63. “This news of Sheldon Reynolds transition is very sad for all of us who knew and worked with him. Sheldon vocally had Reese down,” writes Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey in a social post, republished by the official EWF accounts.
“That’s what Maurice said when he hired Sheldon to share vocals and play guitar. Sheldon was an excellent addition to the band, a great writer and producer, and a genuinely kind and loving person. He will be missed. Our condolences to his family.”
Details surrounding his death have not been formally announced.
Born Sept. 13, 1959 in Cincinnati, OH, Reynolds displayed a gift for the guitar at an early age. He went on to tour with singer Millie Jackson, and later joined Sun, recording three albums with the R&B act.
In 1983, he joined the Commodores. During a four-year spell with the band, he performed on the 1985 LP Nightshift and the following year’s album release United.
The good times kept coming when Reynolds joined EWF as lead guitarist and co-vocalist. He went on to play on the soul band’s LPs Touch The World (1987), Heritage (1990), Millennium (1993) and In The Name of Love (1997). The midtempo Millennium hit “Sunday Morning” earned a Grammy Award nomination in the category of best R&B vocal performance by a duo or group.
Thanks in part to Reynolds’ contributions, the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2000, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, awarded in 1995.
Reynolds went on to work on solo projects with Bailey and EWF’s late band leader Maurice White, who died in 2016. His passing closely follows the death of former EWF drummer Fred White in January, at the age of 67.
EWF and Lionel Richie, who fronted the Commodores until 1983, before embarking on a successful solo career, will set out on a joint tour from this August, dubbed Sing A Song, All Night Long.