"We have very special gifts and talents from God," Estes says of himself and his fellow opera singers. The ability to project their voices, and fill large opera houses, without the assistance of microphones, requires "very special vocal cords." Estes said he cares for his vocal cords by avoiding alcohol, tobacco, drugs and by thanking God every day for his gifts.
"I really give the Lord credit," Estes said.
Throughout his illustrious career, Estes has performed for kings and queens, presidents and other world leaders. Three years ago, Estes was asked to perform during the grand finale concert of the World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa. He was called there to perform, Estes said, and while in Africa, God had another mission for him.
It was while he was in South Africa that Estes learned that one million children in Africa die of malaria each year. Of all of the deaths from malaria in the world, 90 percent occur in Africa. Every 30 seconds, someone dies. In most cases, the disease is contracted through mosquito bites.
"It's been heavy on my heart for quite some time," Estes said. He has set a goal, with his foundation, to purchase one million mosquito nets to save African children. He is receiving assistance from the United Nations Foundation.
To help him meet his goal, $5 - which is the cost of one of these mosquito nets - of the asking price for one of his CD's is donated to the cause. Estes is hopeful that, by the end of May, he will be able to achieve his goal.
Those who attend his concert in Knoxville will be able to support his mission. Just buying a ticket for the concert itself will support aspiring music students across the country.