A Stage of His Own: Homeless Man’s Music Takes Off on iTunes

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David “Dred” Scott has talent, but until Denver musician Tyler Ward teamed up with the ministry His Love Street, the homeless Scott had no stage.

His stage is getting plenty big now.

Ward first heard Scott playing his “amazing sound” on Denver’s downtown streets and decided he wanted to record Scott playing covers of popular songs. After dropping clips on YouTube, Ward knew he could develop a following.

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By teaming with a ministry aimed at helping the homeless in Denver, Ward recorded an album of covers call “Live From 16th Street Mall,” tossed it on iTunes and made $2,000 in the first two days (the album is no longer posted on iTunes). The money, filtered through the ministry, goes to helping Scott.

Scott moved to Denver 16 years ago for the music scene, but lost his job and fell behind on rent, forcing him into friends’ homes and on the street. But he still works full-time doing what he loves—even if it is on the streets—whether he makes a $1 per day or $300 per day, he tells CNN.

With his popularity growing, Ward has Scott debuting his own songs at a Sept. 28 show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, also a benefit for His Love Street.

Scott tells CNN he hopes to make a decent living off his music. Ward’s goal is simply to get a “talented dude” heard. Both seem well on their way to meeting their goals.

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Tim Newcomb is a contributor for TIME. Find him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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