By Luis Gomez
9:23 PM CDT, August 24, 2011
Dwyane Wade can’t carry a tune. He knows it and everyone who saw him belt out Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” in a 2009 Youtube video knows it as well. But the Miami Heat star and Robbins native hasn’t let that stop him from making karaoke an annual tradition at his Wade’s World Weekend charity event, which takes place Thursday-Saturday.
“I can’t sing, but now it’s a thing people look forward to,” said Wade over the phone from Miami on Friday, where he was hosting the first annual Dwyane Wade Fantasy Camp for men ages 35-68. “I sang again last year. It was worse the first year.”
Wade may break out the karaoke at his Bowling Classic at 10Pin Bowling Lounge on Thursday, but he’s off the hook the rest of the weekend. “American Boy” singer Estelle will handle singing duties when she takes the stage at the fourth annual Wade’s World Weekend kick-off party at Enclave later that night.
On Saturday, the former NBA Finals MVP will host his Chicago Has Talent competition at the Chicago Theatre along with “106 & Park’s” Rocsi and comedian Lil Rel. The talent show will feature local students ages 7-18 competing for a $3,000 prize and performances by singer Jawan Harris and rapper Diggy Simmons (son of Run DMC's Rev. Run). Day 26’s Willie Taylor and former “That’s So Raven” actress Drew Sidora will serve as judges.
“I think that’s the best part of the weekend,” Wade said of the talent show. “It’s phenomenal. It’s what the weekend is all about — giving kids a platform. Our motto is ‘Every child deserves a shot.’ Maybe one day a star will come from Chicago Has Talent.”
The weekend will also include a father-son camp on Thursday, a $350-per-person benefit dinner at Trump Tower and VIP party at 8fifty8 in the West Loop on Friday and a youth summit at UIC Pavilion on Saturday. R&B star Erykah Badu (aka DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown) will DJ at the grand finale party at Tantrik in River West Saturday night.
As usual, the event is expected to attract celebrities and athletes. Past attendees have included Lupe Fiasco, Common, Tyrese Gibson, Lauren London, Jamie Hector (who played the memorable Marlo Stanfield on “The Wire”) and the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul and Dallas Mavericks’Shawn Marion.
Is Marion invited this year, even though his Mavs defeated Wade’s Heat in the NBA Finals in June?
“He’s invited,” Wade said. “He’s a good friend. He’s actually a neighbor of mine. Even though he won the championship, that doesn’t take away from our friendship.”
(Update: Marion's people tell me he will attend the kick-off party at Enclave.)
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