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Pop/R&B music group, founded in Chicago in 1969 by Maurice White (b. Dec. 19, 1942) and his brother Verdine (b. Jul. 25, 1951). Maurice had been a drummer for jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis's quartet and Verdine was a classically trained bassist. Their goal was to form a band that blended soul, funk, gospel, blues, rock, and jazz. They released a self-titled debut album for Warner Brothers in 1970 and followed it up the next year with the album The Need of Love. Philip Bailey (b.