DENVER — The iconic R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire was set to play Pepsi Center this summer as part of a tour with Santana.
The COVID-19 pandemic messed with those plans, so lead singer Philip Bailey is now spending much of his time raising money for a charity he's passionate about.
The Denver East High School grad and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee told 9NEWS his organization "Music is Unity" supports foster care kids, especially ones who have aged out of the system and are on their own.
"I can't imagine a time when any of the kids would just be out there with no one to turn to, no one to ask advice, help, encouragement or support, and a large segment of that are in that place through no fault of their own," Bailey, who has seven kids of his own, said from his home in Los Angeles.
"Music is Unity" takes a portion of revenue from Earth, Wind & Fire shows and donates it to foster care organizations.
Since there are no shows this summer, there's no revenue. And it comes at a time when these emancipated foster care kids are struggling more than usual because of the pandemic.
Stacey Sanders is the founder of one local non-profit that benefits from Bailey's charity. It's called "Elevating Connections".
"These are amazing young people," Sanders said. "And all they need is one person, one organization, to say 'you matter', and I'm going to give you my time and my heart and help them find their calling".
Bailey and other celebrities in the world of music, sports and politics have started an emergency fundraiser to help foster kids get through the pandemic.
You can visit the Foster Challenge Emergency website and bid on auction items. For instance you can win a dinner with Bailey, with tickets and back stage passes to an Earth, Wind & Fire concert when the tour picks up again.
As far as the cancelled tour is concerned, Bailey said he's just taking things one day at a time, like everybody else. He's waiting for word on when they'll be able to perform again, and said he can't wait to get to Denver.
"I love Colorado. I get on the guys' nerves when we play Colorado because I'm always ribbing them about how beautiful the state is and where I grew up," he said.
Bailey also said he visits Denver frequently to visit family and friends and will again when it's safer to travel.
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