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Robert Yancy, son of Natalie Cole, died of a heart attack at 39. (ERIK FREELAND/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES)

On Tuesday evening, we received the sad news of Natalie Cole’s son, Robert Yancy passing at the age of 39. His body was found in his San Fernando Valley, California apartment. Undisputed reports of Yancy’s untimely death indicate lead the legendary R&B singer’s son having a heart attack. An autopsy is still pending. His father, a member of the 1970’s group, The Independents died at 34 in 1985 from an apparent heart attack and Cole passed away from heart congestion in 2015. Our condolences to the Yancy family, loved ones and friends.

As we come close to the summer quickly passing us by in our rearview mirror—there is still a great deal of problems that plague our community. The extreme deficit that CPS faces as federal funding threatens to handicap the school district even more with the start of school just around the corner. Most of the suburban and catholic schools opened their doors this week with a little less than last year’s season. But, Gov. Rauner is holding CPS’ tail to the flame validating his decision on “double” paying the district where others in the state also struggle.

Let’s stay tuned as the Illinois senate is scheduled to come together for a bipartisan vote on school funding—pressuring the governor to call for meetings with legislative leaders. According to the state’s Senate President, John Cullerton: “I’ve said all along that the only way to solve our problems is to work together in a bipartisan manner. I look forward to meeting with the governor and the other legislative leaders.”

Attorney General Lisa Madigan

On Saturday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan was seen in a vintage peach Stingray riding in the 88th Annual Bud Billiken parade only the day before announcing the passing of Senate Bill 189.

According to the Attorney General’s office, Illinois has now eliminated the statutes of limitations for felony criminal sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes against children. Senate Bill 189, initiated by Madigan, was passed by the General Assembly unanimously and signed into law by the governor last Friday. This is an important precedent for sexual crimes especially with cases involving adults who were abused as children.

In an official statement, “Sex crimes against children are a horribly tragic violation of trust that can take a lifetime to recover from,” Madigan said. “This new law will ensure that survivors are provided with the time they need to heal and seek justice.”

Chance Last Minute Concert

In an announcement on ABC-7 on Saturday morning, the four-time Grammy award winning artist Chance the Rapper gave out tickets at the Bud Billiken parade to a free concert later that evening. It was the hottest ticket in town for the shorties and the parents who were figuring out who to bribe for a pair for their kids. The increase in the parade’s attendance can definitely be attributed to two major factors—Chance and the South Shore Drill Team. What is the Bud without the 100+ members of the dopest band in the region? In all of their black and gold glory, they are a “show stopper” of the parade. We welcome them back with “open arms.”

At the head of the parade, Chance wore his Grand Marshal crown like a king for the day as the U-Haul trailed behind him with his SocialWorks team passing out thousands of back packs to the young parade watchers.

Global Mixx Music & Film Forum Kicks-off

This weekend marks the 11th Global Mixx Music & Film Forum presented by ComEd being held August 18 thru August 20 at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. I’m a bit bias because it’s been a labor of love for the past 13 years—bringing working professionals together with aspiring talent in the areas of filmmaking, creative media and music business.

Platinum selling rapper, Twista will speak at the Global Mixx Music Forum.

Both the music and film business model has changed drastically over the last 10 years with digital technology changing the playing field. This year’s film conference brings some incredible minds together with a special actor’s workshop led by actress Jossie Harris and other film panels featuring “Living the Reality,” “Casting for Extras,” “Editing 101,” “The Digital Era,” Speed Mentoring Sessions and this year’s Honorary Film Co-Chair and Keynote Tarek “Terk” Stevens, who has worked with Taraji P. Henson, Anthony Anderson and Morris Chestnut.

On Friday, the forum kicks off with a special VIP “Game Changers” reception in conjunction with TBT News honoring ten award recipients. Each honoree was selected on the merit of their influence in making a difference in their respective field with emphasis on community service. Some of the awardees include playwright and JDOTC officer Cassandra Bell; CEO of Quriosity Productions Qadree Holmes; the Honorable Clerk Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court Cook County; Grammy-nominated Remixer/Producer Steve “Silk” Hurley; WGN-TV Entertainment Producer Tyra Martin; legendary musician Gene Barge; WGCI’s Morning Riot host Leon Rogers; and many more.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago will host both the film forum on Saturday, August 19 and the music forum on Sunday, August 20 at their new location in the Mart Plaza. Platinum-selling hip hop legend Twista is this year’s music forum Honorary Co-Chair keynote for this Sunday wrapping up the weekend’s non-stop panels, workshops, speed mentoring sessions, and scholarship presentations. Some familiar participants include Priority Records Sr. A&R Director Serge Durand; Caryn Lee (Interscope Records); Slang Music Group’s CEO Vince Lawrence; Cathy Carroll (RCA Inspiration); talent manager Joseph Cabey, Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas (S&S Chicago), Ty Money and many more.

The event is open to all ages. To register, go to: globalmixxmusic.com

Dru Hill performs at the West Side Music Festival in Douglas Park.

West Side Music Festival Takes Full Flight

It’s that time again with Douglas Park lit up with food, fun and the best in music. The Chicago West Side Music Festival (WSF) taking place Saturday, August 19 presented by BMO Harris Bank. Six years and counting the free outdoor festival gets larger each year with vendors, family friendly activities and a diverse line-up of both local and national acts.

Get there early enough to enjoy live performances by R&B songtress Vivian Green; R&B Divas cast mate Lil Mo and platinum hit maker Dru Hill. The event begins at noon at Douglas Park, located at 1401 S. Sacramento Blvd.  Big ups to Alderman Michael Scott, Jr. and the 24th Ward staff for hosting the summer celebration in partnership with the WSF.

Birthday Shout-Outs

The roar Leo season is in high gear with belated birthday wishes to Adrienne Irmer; Hayes Talent Agency CEO Michelle Hayes on August 15. Special wishes to 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. who celebrates on August 16. Bumping the sound system for Eric “Esmoove” Miller and talent manager/music broker Burundi Partlow on August 17. Steppin’ into her birthday, Cynthia Bean, Eastern Star matron, Delores Dotson, M. Doc and Eric aka DJ Emac on August 18. House music producer/curator Braxton Holmes turns another year young on August 20. Crazy high-fives to one of my favorite security specialists Kerwin Swift; former WEA rep. Linda French; and Warner Bros. Promotions Manager Ron Stewart on August 21.

Got a scoop? Send your birthday wishes, anniversaries,promotions and extras to us.

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