Music News

Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey reflects on a career highlight before his 70th birthday Saturday

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Earth, Wind & Fire lead singer Philip Bailey celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, May 8.

Bailey joined Earth, Wind & Fire in 1972 in time to record the band’s third album, Last Days and Time, and continues to front the group to this day.

In 1975, Philip co-wrote and sang on the band’s 1975 chart-topping and Grammy-winning smash “Shining Star,” and also lent his voice to such other EW&F classics as “Sing a Song,” “Getaway,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “After the Love Has Gone” and “Let’s Groove,” as well as the group’s hit 1978 cover of The Beatles‘ “Got to Get You into My Life.”

Bailey also found success outside Earth, Wind & Fire as a solo artist, especially with his memorable 1984 duet with Phil Collins, “Easy Lover,” which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on Billboard‘s R&B singles chart.

“Definitely one of the highlights of my career. It exposed me to a total different new audience,” he tells ABC Audio of the collaboration. “Phil is just fantastically talented, a great gentleman. I spent several months in England and we had a great time.”

“Easy Lover” was featured on Bailey’s 1984 solo album Chinese Wall, which reached #22 on the Billboard 200.

“It was actually our last song of the project,” Philip recalls. “When we listened to everything, I said, ‘We need one more song.’ And we were in there and wrote that and Phil went home and wrote the lyrics. We recorded it the next day and the rest is history.”

Bailey tells ABC Audio that he loves performing both his solo and group hits.

“They’re all very special and for different reasons,” he notes. “The fans really make it happen. I enjoy doing all the music and I enjoy doing it all.”

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