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Published: 12/10/2004

Lyfe tries to lift hometown's holidays

BY RHONDA B. SEWELL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Lyfe Lyfe
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Lyfe loves Toledo.

Chester "Lyfe" Jennings, the Toledo native who landed a record deal last year with Columbia's Sony Urban Music label, returns to his hometown often. And when he's on the road, the guitarist and lyricist tries to cast Toledo in a positive light.

He performs at 8 tonight in Headliners, 4500 North Detroit Ave., and he has asked concertgoers to bring donations of nonperishable food items and new toys for those in need during the holidays.

Although he is pleased to be performing locally tonight, he says he is disappointed that he won't be able to shoot the video for his new single, "Must Be Nice," next week in Toledo.

"I was really trying to bring it back to Toledo and shoot the video here, but we were turned down," the 28-year-old performer said from Brooklyn, where he lives. The song is to be released next month. He says he expects the video to be shot in New York. Lyfe's 15-track debut album, "268-192," was released this year. The album title is named after the number he was assigned in prison. The performer's lyrics cover a range of topics, including prison, fatherhood, street life, and love.

In just two years, Lyfe says, his life has changed dramatically. He was released from prison in early 2003, won the amateur category on the television talent series Showtime in Harlem in mid-2003, and anded the record deal near year-end.

Chester "Lyfe" Jennings is in concert at 8 tonight in Headliners, 4500 North Detroit Ave. Tickets are $20 at the door, and will be reduced to $10 if concertgoers bring nonperishable food or new-toy donations. Nonperishable food items will be given to the Kitchen for the Poor and toys will go to the Sydney Lynn Welch Foundation at the Toledo Children's Hospital. The foundation was established on behalf of the daughter of Charlie Mack, program director of WJUC-FM (107.3), and his wife, Kelly, whose 11-month-old daughter, Sydney, died in March due to complications from leukemia.

Contact Rhonda B. Sewell at: rsewell@theblade.com

or 419-724-6101



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