Cherie Ivy with her late son, Shawn Ivy. (Courtesy photo)

In August of 2017,  Cherie Ivy’s life was changed forever. She was among the more than 3,000 people in California who lost a loved one to gun violence.

Shawn Ivy was also known as the Rapper Sean Mack.  The 24-year-old sensation was following in the footsteps of his father, Def Jam recording artist rapper “Domino,” whose hits include “Ghetto Jam,” and “Sweet Potato Pie” among others.

Shawn was proud of his popular song, “Inglewood Avenue.” He loved his culture and wanted to celebrate his tight-knit Black community. But like Nipsey Hussle, all Shawn’s love could not stop the demi-soul sickness called jealousy. Shawn was murdered early Friday morning in Inglewood in the 600 block of Hardin Drive.

“He was robbed and killed by his own so-called friends… He was set up by a girl he liked… They shot his eyes out and shot his beard off. …I was falling apart. I ran out that door (of their home). I do not even think I locked the door. I never went back,” said Ivy, the playwright of a stage play that tackles the staggering impact of surviving gun violence titled,“Still Standing.”

A parent’s greatest nightmare is burying a child. The divine order of life is children should outlive their parents. A study by the British Broadcasting Corporation found that bereaved parents are four times more likely to die in the decade following the child’s death due to a broken heart.

Ivy had spiraled into dark grief-ridden isolation. But a visit from her sister would help her push through the last step in the grieving process of acceptance and renewal.

“My sister saw my pain and struggle. She said, ‘You have overcome a lot of things.  You have to write about this. Write a play. I said, ‘Okay. I will just tell the story the way it is and walk through all that pain.’”

“Still Standing” opens on August 19 in Los Angeles. (Courtesy photo)

After several starts and stops, Ivy created a play about three women – Sophia, Lorraine, and Josie –  who gather at Sophia’s house in Inglewood. It is the loss of Josie and Lorraine’s children that brings them back together in the summer of 2017, the year the country grapples with the increased police shooting of unarmed Black men and ongoing racial inequality.

Ivy has 18 years of business experience in the music industry working with such giants as Russell Simmons Def Jam Records, and Sony Music (formerly CBS Records).

“Still Standing” will be held at the Broadwater Theatre, located at 1078 Lillian Way in Los Angeles. The show dates are August 19 – 21. Admission is $45. For ticket information, call (323) 335-6579 or visit