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Earth, Wind & Fire take to the road with hits _ and sadness

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/7/2017 By MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer
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FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2016 file photo, Verdine White, from left, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire perform at the 2016 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif. Earth, Wind & Fire will hit the road this summer with the band Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. Their tour starts July 12 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2016 file photo, Verdine White, from left, Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind and Fire perform at the 2016 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala in Beverly Hills, Calif. Earth, Wind & Fire will hit the road this summer with the band Chic featuring Nile Rodgers. Their tour starts July 12 in Oakland, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Earth, Wind & Fire will hit the road this summer with some classic hits, a new touring partner and lingering heartache.

The hits include "September," ''Shining Star" and "Boogie Wonderland," while they'll share the stage with the band Chic, featuring Nile Rodgers. The sadness comes from the loss last year of their spiritual leader, founder Maurice White.

Says drummer Ralph Johnson, one of three original members still playing the band's infectious hooks: "We're still healing."

Concertgoers can expect a teary memorial to White amid the disco grooves and horn-driven funk. The band has always honored their missing member — White stopped touring in 1995 — but this time the section has a final kiss to it.

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