Chaka Khan – The Queen of Funk

Chaka Khan Still Keeping it Real 

Chaka Khan’s career has spanned nearly five decades, beginning in the 1970s as lead vocalist of the funk band Rufus. She is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy. While most musicians and artists start slowing down in their later years, at 66, Chaka Khan continues to record and perform on stages worldwide.

She’s still keeping it real and doing things on her own terms while reinventing herself as an artist. She’s also in a better place in life after drug addictions and alcoholism. At this point in her life, she’s in control and enjoying a career that is taking her to new and exciting places.

Chaka Khan has influenced generations of recording artists.

The 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime. A songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka Khan has influenced generations of recording artists. She can perform multiple genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. Affectionately known around the world as Chaka, she is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers for her timeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability. 

The Early Years of Her Career

Early on, she caught the attention of Stevie Wonder, who penned her first smash hit with Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good.” The single from the group’s 1974 platinum-selling album, “Rags to Rufus”, earned Chaka her first GRAMMY® Award. With Chaka as the group’s dynamic center, “Rufus” became one of the most popular acts around.

They were selling out shows throughout the country and dominating the airwaves with hit after hit with songs.“You Got the Love,” which Chaka co-wrote, “Once You Get Started,” “Sweet Thing,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel?” and “Ain’t Nobody,” Chaka’s second GRAMMY Award-winning song with Rufus. Rufus and Chaka Khan racked up five RIAA certified gold and platinum albums during their time together.  She became quite popular with the musical elite during this time in life.

Chaka Khan Goes Solo

It was inevitable that a singer with Chaka’s star power would eventually venture out on her own. In 1978, Chaka blazed onto the music scene as a solo artist. The release of the smash hit “I’m Every Woman” written by Ashford & Simpson, took her to the top. It was during this time that Chaka started exploring more genres of music.

She began to explore her love of Jazz. Chaka also recorded an album of jazz standards titled Echoes of an Era, which featured such luminaries as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White. Her crowning achievement in jazz was the GRAMMY® Award-winning tune, “Be Bop Medley.” The song’s album, titled Chaka Khan, also won a GRAMMY® for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.

Chaka Makes Music History

The song that propels her to superstardom is a song written and recorded by Prince titled “I Feel For You.” It was released in 1984, it was the first R&B song to feature a rap, which was performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Chaka also topped the charts with “This Is My Night” and the instant classic, “Through The Fire.” Chaka lends her voice and producer skills to two of the biggest hits of 1986. Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.” Both songs win Grammy’s.  

Flash Forward To 2019

2019 is her year to shine and how does she do it?  She releases “Hello Happiness” which is her 12th studio album, it came out this past February (2019). It is her first new material since 2007’s Funk This. It includes the 2018 single “Like Sugar“, and the second single, the title track “Hello Happiness“.  It’s a nice transition into another style of music that will appeal to all ages. Some critics are having issues because it doesn’t sound like her more traditional stuff, but people are catching on and starting to embrace it. 

She’s currently touring, doing projects for “the Chaka Khan Foundation” and a line of gourmet chocolates. “Chakalates’ are available at 20 Neiman Marcus stores around the country.  Plans are underway to re-launch her signature brand of chocolates nationally and internationally. She currently is introducing Khana Sutra, a fragrance line for men, women and the home. The line also includes candles, and room and linen sprays. She has a new look, a new album and great enthusiasm for expanding activities in music, Philanthropy and other entrepreneurial ventures. The 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime.