- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2016

James Taylor is using his music to help people evacuated from a huge wildfire in Canada.

The “Carolina in My Mind” singer has turned two Alberta concerts next month into benefits. Proceeds from tickets to his shows in Calgary on June 7 and Edmonton on June 8 will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross to help victims of what Taylor says is a major national catastrophe that’s just impossible to ignore.

“It’s really a part of human nature to respond to things like this by wanting to lend a hand if you can. You’d like to feel as though people would be there for you if you were in a similar situation,” Taylor told The Associated Press by phone on Monday.

Taylor says the idea came from conversations with his Canadian manager Sam Feldman as he arrived for a 15-concert tour of Canadian cities over the next month. He said the two shows would raise “at least a quarter of a million, maybe a $100,000 more than that.”

“Live Nation are donating their portion of the show … the two buildings that the shows are in are donating their part to it,” Taylor added. “It’s building some momentum and we hope it encourages other people to volunteer.”

More than 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray have been displaced by the fires, which began last week. Taylor has frequently participated in fundraising events.


AP reporter Robert Gillies contribute to this report from Toronto.

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