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Philip Bailey
American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter, percussionist and actor

Philip Bailey

Philip Bailey
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter, percussionist and actor
Is Singer Jazz musician Musician Pianist Percussionist Songwriter Actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music
Gender male
Birth 8 May 1951, Denver, USA
Age 71 years
Star sign Taurus
Rhythm and blues
Soul music
Percussion instrument
The details (from wikipedia)


Philip James Bailey (born May 8, 1951) is an American R&B, soul, gospel and funk singer, songwriter and percussionist best known as an early member, and one of the two lead singers (along with group founder Maurice White) of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. Noted for his four-octave vocal range and distinctive falsetto register, Bailey has won seven Grammy Awards. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame as a member of Earth, Wind & Fire. Bailey was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame for his work with the band.

Bailey has released several solo albums. Chinese Wall from 1984, which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male, included the international hit, "Easy Lover", a duet with Phil Collins. "Easy Lover" won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Overall Performance in a Video in 1985 and was Grammy nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.

In May 2008, Bailey was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music at Berklee's Commencement Ceremony where he was the commencement speaker.

Life and career

Early days

Bailey was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, United States. He attended East High School in Denver and graduated in 1969. He was also in a local R&B band called Friends & Love. Some of Bailey's early influences included jazz musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Max Roach, the Motown sound, in particular the music of Stevie Wonder and he was also largely influenced by female singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Dionne Warwick.

Earth, Wind & Fire

In 1972, while attending college, Bailey was invited to join the band Earth, Wind & Fire by EWF-founder and bandleader Maurice White. Bailey was the featured lead vocalist on popular Earth, Wind & Fire songs as "Devotion", "Keep Your Head to the Sky", "Reasons", "Fantasy", "I'll Write A Song For You", "Imagination", "I've Had Enough", and "Guiding Lights". He also shared lead vocals with Maurice White on such EWF hits as "Shining Star", "Getaway", "September", "Sing A Song", "Serpentine Fire", "Saturday Night", and sang lead with both White and the girl group The Emotions on their classic disco collaboration "Boogie Wonderland".

With Maurice White's retirement and then death, Bailey became the on-stage leader of Earth, Wind & Fire, along with bassist Verdine White, vocalist/percussionist Ralph Johnson and vocalist/percussionist B. David Whitworth.

In live duet performances, Bailey will sing his falsetto part, then switch to the vocal part originally sung by White, showing off his vocal prowess and versatility.

Philip Bailey performing in 2011

Solo albums

In 1983, Bailey issued his debut studio album, titled Continuation, on Columbia Records. The album reached No. 19 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. An album cut titled "I Know" rose to No. 10 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

During 1984, Bailey released his second solo album, titled Chinese Wall, also on Columbia Records. The album reached No. 22 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. Off the album, a duet with Collins titled "Easy Lover", rose to Nos. 1 & 2 on the UK Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts, respectively.

Bailey went on to issue his third studio album, titled Inside Out, in 1986 on Columbia. The album reached No. 30 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. A single from the album titled "State Of The Heart" reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

During 1994, Bailey issued his self titled fourth studio album on Zoo Entertainment. Artists including Brian McKnight, Chuckii Booker and PM Dawn guested on the LP. The album cut "Here With Me" rose to No. 33 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs chart.

Bailey went on to release his first jazz album, titled Dreams in 1999 on Heads Up International records. The album featured artistes such as Gerald Albright, Grover Washington, Jr. and Pat Metheny. It reached No. 43 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. During 2002 he released Soul on Jazz, his sophomore jazz album once again on Heads Up. The album rose to No. 45 upon the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.


Bailey featured on Andraé Crouch's 1979 album I'll Be Thinking of You. He and Maurice White then collaborated with The Hawkins Family on their 1981 live album, The Hawkins Family Live.

In 1980, Bailey joined with friends, Deniece Williams, Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo to present a gospel show at a popular Los Angeles club named The Roxy. The show was called "Jesus At the Roxy". Williams later reported that "God did something miraculous. Over three hundred people were saved." After that, both Bailey and Williams decided to pursue careers in Christian music.

During 1984, Bailey issued his first gospel album titled The Wonders of His Love on Myrrh Records. The album reached No. 13 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart and No. 17 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. The Wonders of His Love was also Grammy nominated in the category of Best Inspirational Performance.

His second gospel album Triumph was released in 1986 on Horizon Records. The LP reached No. 18 on the Top Christian Albums chart and No. 33 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart. Triumph also won a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance, Male.

During 1989 he released his third gospel album titled Family Affair on Myrrh Records. The album reached No. 37 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart.

Bailey later played percussion and sang on the King Baptist Church Mass Choir's 1990 album Holding on to Jesus' Hand.

Work with other artists

Bailey sang on Jazz guitarist Alphonso Johnson 1976's LP Yesterday's Dreams. He later played percussion alongside Verdine White on bass upon the track "Tahiti Hut" composed by both Maurice White and Eumir Deodato from Deodato's 1978 album Love Island. He also sang on Ronnie Laws' 1978 album Flame.

Bailey went on to produce R&B Band Kinsman Dazz's 1978 debut LP Kinsman Dazz and work as an arranger and guest artist on their sophomore 1979 album Dazz. As a band, Kinsman Dazz later became known as the Dazz Band. Bailey also collaborated as a vocalist with tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine on his 1981 album Tender Togetherness.

As well he guested on Stevie Wonder's 1985 "In Square Circle" album, Kenny Loggins' 1985 LP Vox Humana, Ray Parker Jr.'s 1987 album After Dark and Anita Pointer's 1987 LP Love for What It Is. Bailey also collaborated with Julio Iglesias on his 1988 album Non Stop, Little Richard on the soundtrack of the 1988 feature film Twins and Deniece Williams on her 1988 album As Good As It Gets.

He later featured on Nancy Wilson's 1989 LP A Lady with a Song, Dianne Reeves' 1990 album Never Too Far and George Duke and Stanley Clarke's 1990 LP 3. Bailey also guested on jazz group Fourplay's 1991 self-titled debut album, Ronnie Laws' 1992 LP Deep Soul, George Duke's 1992 LP Snapshot and Fourplay's 1993 sophomore album Between the Sheets.

Bailey then featured on Chante Moore's 1994 album A Love Supreme, Keiko Matsui's 1994 LP Doll, George Duke's 2000 album Cool, Boney James's 2006 LP Shine, Deniece Williams' 2007 album Love Niecy Style and Gerald Albright's 2008 LP Sax for Stax.

Bailey sung uncredited vocals on Travis Scott's "STOP TRYING TO BE GOD" from his 2018 album Astroworld. The song also features fellow musicians Stevie Wonder and Kid Cudi.

On screen

Bailey appeared in an episode of the TV show Matlock in the role of Pvt. Bobby Thomas. He also played a soldier in the 1987 feature film Full Metal Jacket.

On October 27, 2007, Bailey sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch in Game 3 of the 2007 World Series held at Coors Field, Denver, Colorado. This was the first World Series game that was ever played in his hometown of Denver. He also threw out the ceremonial first pitch on June 30, 2012 in an MLB game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Detroit Tigers held at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Personal life

Bailey is currently married to singer/ songwriter, Valerie Bailey (née Davis), who has worked with Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Bailey is the father of seven children, one of whom is Pili Bailey, the daughter of Jeanette Hutchinson of the R&B hit group The Emotions. His son, Philip Doron Bailey, is also a member of Earth Wind & Fire.


Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Bailey has received one award out of four solo nominations.

Year Category Nominated work Result
1983 Best Inspirational Performance The Wonders of His Love Nominated
1985 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male Chinese Wall Nominated
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal "Easy Lover" Nominated
1985 Best Gospel Performance, Male Triumph Won


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 06 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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