August 08, 2013
LAWT News Service
The City of Chicago honored ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner Chaka Khan with a Street Naming of “Chaka Khan Way” on Saturday, July 27, and declared Sunday, July 28, 2013, “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, her hometown. The weekend-long celebration also included a free outdoor concert in Millennium Park.
The music icon, who was honored for her stellar 40-year career in music and entertainment, participated in the ceremonial unveiling of Chaka Khan Way on S. Blackstone Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, with her family, including her mother Sandra Coleman, her sister, Tammy McCrary, and a host of other relatives in the Chicago area. Several city officials, business executives and community leaders were among the participants, including Fourth Ward Alderman William Burns, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic School, State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Representatives Christian Mitchell and Barbara Flynn Currie, and Carl McKenzie, a cultural event producer and the president of Artworks Chicago. McKenzie organized the weekend-long celebration, which was co-sponsored by MINI USA. Chaka Khan Way is located on the west side of Kenwood Academy, where Chaka attended high school during its early days of operation. The students of Kenwood Academy also had the opportunity to participate in the event.
“This is the biggest honor I have ever received in my life,” says Chaka. “The people of Chicago have always loved me and have supported me throughout my career—through thick and thin. To have a street named after you in the third largest city in the country is a big deal. To think that people will say ‘make a right or left turn on Chaka Khan Way’ is mind blowing. Long after I’m gone, and my children and grandchildren are gone, the street named Chaka Khan Way will still be here to carry on my legacy in the city where it all started for me. I never would have imagined that I would have been granted this honor. I thank all the city officials responsible for making this happening—and I especially thank Carl McKenzie, who vigorously campaigned and almost single-handedly made this event a reality. My family and I thank God for this blessing.”
Nearly 20,000 people attended the free outdoor concert at Chicago’s Millennium Park, where Chaka performed all her classic hits, including “I Feel For You,” “I’m a Woman,” “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me,” “You’ve Got The Love,” “Everlasting Love,” “Packed My Bags,” “Papillon,” “Tell Me Something Good,” a medley of “Stay,” “Sweet Thing,” and “My Funny Valentine,” “Through The Fire,” “Do You Love What You Feel,” “I’m Every Woman,” and an encore of “Ain’t Nobody.”
The weekend-long activities also included a visit to Operation Push with Reverend Jesse Jackson and a private reception at the DuSable Museum. A devoted activist and philanthropist, Chaka met with Reverend Jackson to discuss the issues facing and affecting the black community of Chicago. Operation Push and Reverend Jackson also hosted Chaka Khan Foundation’s latest campaign initiative with the Chicago chapter of Dress for Success.
Chaka was born in Chicago and grew up on Carpenter Street in Hyde Park, where her parents provided her with a very rich musical foundation by introducing her to a wide range of music, starting with jazz and opera.
Chaka is currently working on a series of new albums, titled The iKhan Project. Chaka Khan Enterprises recently relaunched her website www.chakakhan.com and released a new Chaka Khan social media app: https://itun.es/us/9WSRL.i
Don’t let worry put a strain on your relationships. Concentration is key, but be as light hearted as possible. Open up to romantic feelings. Let love come to you. It may come from inside. Soul Affirmation: Shining brightly is something that I can do even in shadows. Lucky Numbers: 11, 40, 46
The time has come to forgive and forget. Take the first step in reconciling a friendship. You thought no one knew, but you may be romantically attracted to an old pal. Soul Affirmation: Helping others is the true measure of my worth. Lucky Numbers: 38, 45, 48
When you let go of pain and fear you are a force to be reckoned with. Use your talents for regeneration to create a new reality for yourself, one that is filled with joy and happiness. Turn away from inner thoughts that are anything less than positive. Soul Affirmation: I enjoy living in my dream. Lucky Numbers: 11, 42, 44
Treat yourself with kindness, and let love be your guiding light. The past few weeks have been rather hard on your personality, but you’ve come through a troubled time with flying colors. Soul Affirmation: I am what I consistently do. Lucky Numbers: 3, 4, 18
Critical voices should be tuned out this week. You are in the mood for a pleasant week and you shouldn’t let anyone keep you from your just rewards. Relax with friends who you can share positive vibes with. Soul Affirmation: I get because I give. Lucky Numbers: 12, 23, 45
Unexpected company may arrive, or an invitation may be extended. Use good judgment and set realistic boundaries to protect your valuable personal time. Drive carefully. Soul Affirmation: I make the first step and the universe will come to my aid. Lucky Numbers: 34, 41, 47
Your rewards come not only from what you do, but from who you are! Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back and work some wonders. You are full of positive energy this week; use it to your advantage. Soul Affirmation: I care deeply about the feelings of others. Lucky Numbers: 10, 11, 26
Practical matters may seem like nuisances that are only there to spite your sunny mood this week. The vibration has its place though, and if you apply yourself to practical things, you’ll have a lot accomplished by the end of the week. Avoid spinning your wheels on impossible projects or relationships. Soul Affirmation: Distant love is sometimes sweeter. Lucky Numbers: 17, 24, 29
Excellent vibrations accompany you to meetings and appointments or anywhere where your gifts of communication can be used. You’ll have managers eating out of your hand if you choose to exercise a little charm. Soul Affirmation: I call on my creative talents to pay my bills. Lucky Numbers: 18, 32, 47
Charming, simply charming! You have everything going for you this week, so make the most of it. You are capable of handling many projects, and equally capable of asking for help if you need it. Soul Affirmation: My imagination is the source of my happiness. Lucky Numbers: 1, 12, 30
If you acknowledge your need to be with someone this afternoon, the universe will probably provide. Ask for help if you need it. There are many resources available to you that you could be drawing from. All you have to do is ask. Soul Affirmation: I accept fate and see good in it. Lucky Numbers: 7, 26, 28
Watching the sunrise will help quell any impatience that may arise within you this week. As you watch the sun kiss the sky, imagine that the universe is embracing you with love. Soul Affirmation: I judge no one, especially myself this week. Lucky Numbers: 3, 5, 54
City News Service
Comedian Kevin Hart pleaded no contest Monday to one count of driving with a blood alcohol concentration
of .08 or higher and was sentenced to three years probation. Hart -- whose movie ``Let Me Explain'' has grossed
$32 million since its July 3 release -- was also fined $390 and ordered to complete three months of alcohol
education courses, according to City Attorney's Office spokesman Frank Mateljan, who said it was a standard
sentence for a first-time DUI offender. A second identical count against Hart was dropped in exchange for his
The ``Laugh At My Pain'' funny man and ``Real Husbands of Hollywood'' actor was seen driving erratically at
speeds up to 90 mph on the Ventura (101) Freeway around 4:30 a.m. on April 14, according to reports by
TMZ.com. California Highway Patrol officials told TMZ.com that Hart nearly crashed into a gas tanker truck before
he was pulled over. Visibly intoxicated, Hart failed field sobriety tests and was jailed in Van Nuys for about seven
hours before being released, according to TMZ.com and Sheriff's Department records.
By LINDA DEUTSCH
Rapper 50 Cent stood silently before a judge on Monday August 5 as his attorney entered his plea of not guilty to domestic violence and vandalism charges involving an ex-girlfriend who is the mother of his child.
The performer, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, was told to stay away from Daphne Narvarez and forbid him from contacting her by phone or email.
He also was told not to possess any weapons.
The 37-year-old "In Da Club" singer was ordered to return to court on Sept. 4 for a pretrial hearing.
Narvarez says Jackson trashed her California condo and kicked her during an argument June 23. Police said property worth $7,100 was destroyed. She said she locked herself in a bedroom but Jackson kicked open the bedroom door and kicked her, causing injury.
Outside court, defense attorney Scott Leemon said his client denies the allegations.
Police said Jackson was gone when they arrived, and they saw broken items including chandeliers, furniture and a television.
Narvarez said she had a three-year relationship with Jackson.
He was charged with domestic violence and four counts of vandalism. If convicted, he could face up to five years behind bars and $46,000 in fines.
The rapper has referenced drug dealing and violence in songs and is known for having survived nine gunshots in an attempted assassination.
Jackson also has worked as an actor. He starred in an autobiographical account of his life as a drug dealer in "Get Rich or Die Tryin''.
By Shirley Hawkins
LAWT Contributing Writer
Jazz fans around the world were stunned to hear of the recent passing of legendary Grammy-winning keyboardist and producer George Duke, who died Monday night in Los Angeles from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Duke, who composed, sang, arranged and produced in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres, was most noted for his love for electronic jazz, funk, R&B, and acoustic jazz. His lengthy career spanned forty-plus decades.
His penchant for experimentation led him to collaborate with artists such as Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, George Clinton, Barry Manilow and several of Brazil’s top musicians. The prolific musician also worked with jazz greats Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Cannonball Adderly, Al Jarreau and Stanley Clarke. Duke was well known in the music industry as a successful record producer as well--his “magic touch” graced the recordings of Miles Davis, Smokey Robinson, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Jill Scott, The Pointer Sisters, Anita Baker, Jeffrey Oborne, Deniece Williams, and Rachelle Ferrell.
The multi-faceted musician is also noted for playing keyboards on Michael Jackson’s 1979 album, “Off the Wall.” Duke became entranced with music at the age of four years old after seeing Duke Ellington perform.
“I don’t remember it too well…but my mother told me I went crazy,” Duke said on his website. “I ran around saying, ‘Get me a piano, get me a piano!”
Born in San Rafael, California, Duke said he learned a lot about music by going to church. He played in high-school jazz groups and was heavily influenced by his idol, Miles Davis. He earned degrees in trombone, composition and contrabass from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in composition from San Francisco State University.
He first won international acclaim on 1969’s “The Jean Luc-Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio,” considered one of the first fusion jazz recordings. Duke also played with the Don Ellis Orchestra, Cannonball Adderly’s band and with jazz musician Stanley Clarke. Eager to strike out on his own, Duke became a solo artist in 1976 and released more than 30 albums.
Duke brought jazz-funk fusion to the forefront with several groundbreaking albums in the ‘70s, including “Faces in Reflection,” “The Aura Will Prevail” and “Liberated Fantasies.” All three albums are considered classics of jazz-funk fusion.
Leon “Ndugu” Chancler was one of Duke’s close associates and fellow musicians who knew him for 45 years and began playing with him 42 years ago and will most remember his friend’s spirit and being jovial all the time.
“He had a saying for everything, and his favorite saying was ‘I’m Just trying to Make a Living!,’” Remembered Chancler.
“My fondest memory of him is the two of us in the studio and drinking wine. I made about 20 albums with him including ‘Reach For It’ and ‘Don’t Let Go’ which were big at the time. He loved his wife, loved his music and loved his wine,” Chancler told the Sentinel.
Longtime friend and respected bass player Byron Miller played with Duke for over 40 years and recorded three songs with him that will be released on his upcoming CD, but it is the legacy of his friend that he will carry with him going forward.
“I knew him for 40 years and played with him for 40 years. I last played with him in June when we were recording my CD and we recorded three songs. I will keep the funk alive and my legacy with him is always going to be his biggest hits, so every time they play his hits they play me,” said Miller.
His prodigious talent did not go unnoticed--Duke earned a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album as the producer for Dianne Reeve’s “In the Moment—Live in Concert (2000)” and for “The Calling” (2001). A little more than a year ago, Duke’s wife, Corinne, died of cancer. Duke was devastated and could not make music for months. But last month, Duke overcame his grief and released “DreamWeaver,” which many consider a touching and poignant tribute to his wife.
Among his many achievements, Duke also worked as musical director for the Soul Train Music Awards and other special events. Several of his songs were featured on soundtracks for “The Five Heartbeats” and “Karate Kid III.” Duke’s son, Rashid, thanked his father’s fans in a statement released Tuesday.
“The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father’s friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming,” he said.
Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), was saddened by Duke’s passing.
“Grammy winner George Duke was a multitalented producer and keyboardist whose sound infused jazz, funk and R&B throughout his 40-year-plus career, he said in a statement.
“His immense talent will live on through the hundreds of recordings he’s given the world, and we send our sympathies to his family, friends, and all who were touched by his soulful music.”
Assistant Managing Editor Kenneth Miller contributed to this article.
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