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Earth, Wind & Fire Becomes First African-American Group Inducted Into Kennedy Center Honors [Billboard]

Earth, Wind & Fire came into their element last night as the first African-American group to be inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors. The fusion band’s original members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White were on hand, while EWF founder and visionary Maurice White, who died in 2016, notably was in the house in spirit.

Also, quite the invite list…

The 42nd Honors hosted a particularly robust number of politicians, among them Cabinet members Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Also present were more than 40 members of Congress, including the senior Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who when mentioned by Center board chair David Rubenstein got a standing ovation as big as the honorees.