Famed R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire’s founding member Maurice White has been accused of neglecting to pay Charles Stepney, who produced some of his greatest hits. The only problem is that Stepney has been deceased for 36 years, so his children are suing White for royalties they claim their dad never received, reports TMZ.
Stepney was responsible for classics as Shining Star, Devotion, Sing a Song and Mighty, Mighty. The producer was also an arranger, songwriter and musician who achieved stellar success in all four areas during the sixties and seventies. He worked with Ramsey Lewis, Chaka Khan, The Dells and The Emotions. Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Terry Callier have made it known that they were heavily influenced by Stepney’s talents.
One of Earth, Wind & Fire’s greatest songs, “Spirit,” was a tribute to Stepney. The producer, however, never got a chance to even hear the song of gratitude that the group had dedicated to him. Stepney died of a heart attack on May 17, 1976 at 45-years-young.
Now the children of the man, whose sound has remained with the iconic R&B group, is taking White to task. They want him and Sony Music Holdings, Inc. to pay up them what they feel their father has been owed since 1974.