March 23rd, 1953

the Funky Soul story - Chaka Khan 01

Chaka Khan is one of the world's most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy, 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 has the rare ability to sing in seven music 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 hertimeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability. The late, great Miles Davis often said, "She [Chaka] sings like my horn." And the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin says, "[Chaka] is a one- of- a -kind, premier vocalist."


Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, seven RIAA certified gold singles and ten RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka's recorded music has produced over 2,000 catalogue song placements. "I am honored and blessed to celebrate 40 years in music and entertainment" says Chaka. "I am so humbled by the love, support and gracious spirit of my fans worldwide and the continuous support my peers have shown over the years. Throughout my 40-year career, I have been through the fire a few times over and I'm still here as a living testament to God's love and grace. Next year, I will be celebrating 40 years in the business and 60 years on earth, which equals one hundred percent Chaka."


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Early on, she caught the attention of music icon 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 selling out shows throughout the country and dominating the airwaves with hit after hit with songs such as "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. 


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 with the release of the smash hit "I'm Every Woman" written byAshford & Simpson. Paired with the late producer extraordinaire, Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler), her catalog grew even more impressive with hits such as "Clouds," "Papillon," and "What 'Cha Gonna Do For Me?" It was during this time that Chaka began pursuing her love of jazz. She and Arif brilliantly re-worked the classic song "Night in Tunisia" with the song's originator, Dizzy Gillespie, on trumpet. 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.


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However, the song that made Chaka Khan a household name and propelled her to superstardom the world over was "I Feel For You," written and first performed by Prince. This chart-topping, GRAMMY Award-winning song also made music history. 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." Now in top demand, Chaka lent 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 were GRAMMY-winning songs.


In 1995, she made her musical theater debut on London's West End, where she starred in Mama I Want to Sing. In 2002 she traveled to Las Vegas, where she starred in Signed, Sealed Delivered, a critically-acclaimed musical based on the music of Stevie Wonder. Her Broadway debut came in 2008, when she took over the role of Sofia in Oprah Winfrey's musical The Color Purple.


Chaka's emotive vocals can also be heard on a number of soundtracks, including Clockers, Set It Off, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Miami Vice, White Knights, Moscow on the Hudson, Disappearing Acts, Waiting to Exhale and Standing In The Shadows Of Motown, as well as Tyler Perry hits Madea's Family Reunion and Meet The Browns.


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During her career, she has collaborated with a long list of artists in diverse genres. Collaborators have included Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Steve Winwood, Mary J. Blige, George Benson, Larry Graham, the London Symphony Orchestra and countless others. Chaka has received a steady stream of accolades for both her artistry and philanthropy. In June, 2012, she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, joining previously inducted music greats such as Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, George Harrison, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Donna Summer and Kathleen Battle. In 2011, she was honored for her legendary career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During the same year, Chaka was honored with the United Negro College Fund's An Evening of Stars Tribute. The program, which was televised on cable networks and broadcast stations in more than 40 cities nationwide, featured tribute performances by Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Ledisi, El Debarge, Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Chaka's brother, Mark Stevens, and her daughter, Indira Khan, among others. In recent years, Chaka also received the Soul Train Legend Award (2009), the BET Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), the GRAMMY® Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter (2006) and the World Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award (2003). In 2004, Chaka received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. Chaka's autobiography, Through the Fire, was published by Rodale Books in 2003 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay.


Despite her busy schedule, Chaka has always made time to support and uplift her community. She has a deep commitment to women and children at risk, which led her to establish the Chaka Khan Foundation in 1999. Initially, the foundation focused primarily on public awareness campaigns around the diagnosis, intervention, and available family resources and the search for a cure for autism. Her efforts were particularly aimed at communities of color and other underserved communities, where awareness about this disorder is low. Her work in this area was inspired by her nephew who has autism and who Chaka describes as "gifted and beautiful and so full of life." She later expanded the mission of the foundation to focus more broadly on women and children at risk. In July 2012, Chaka received the McDonald Corporation's 365Black Award, honoring her for her leadership of the Chaka Khan Foundation.


Chaka also is an entrepreneur. In 2004, her line of gourmet chocolates, Chakalates, was sold in 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. With a new svelte look, a new album, and a great enthusiasm for her new and expanding activities in music, philanthropy and entrepreneurial ventures, the 10-time GRAMMY Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime.




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1978 / CHAKA

1978 / CHAKA

A1 I'm Every Woman

A2 Love Has Fallen On Me

A3 Roll Me Through The Rushes

A4 Sleep On It

A5 Life Is A Dance

B1 We Got The Love

B2 Some Love

B3 A Woman In A Man's World

B4 The Message In The Middle Of The Bottom

B5 I Was Made To Love Him

1980 / NAUGHTY

1980 / NAUGHTY

A1 Clouds

A2 Get Ready,Get Set

A3 Move Me No Mountain

A4 Nothing's Gonna Take You Away

A5 So Naughty

B1 Too Much Love

B2 All Night's All Right

B3 What You Did

B4 Papillon (Aka Hot Butterfly)

B5 Our Love's In Danger



A1 We Can Work It Out

A2 What Cha' Gonna Do For Me

A3 I Know You, I Live You

A4 Any Old Sunday

A5 We Got Each Other

B1 And The Melody Still Lingers On (Night In Tunisia)

B2 Night Moods

B3 Heed The Warning

B4 Father He Said

B5 Fate

B6 I Know You, I Live You (Reprise)



A1 Tearin' It Up

A2 Slow Dancin'

A3 Best In The West

A4 Got To Be There

B1 Be Bop Medley

     B1.1 Hot House

     B1.2 East Of Suez (Come On Sailor)

     B1.3 Epistrophy (I Wanna Play)

     B1.4 Yardbird Suite

     B1.5 Con Alma

     B1.6 Giant Steps

B2 Twisted

B3 So Not To Worry

B4 Pass It On (A Sure Thing)


(Chaka Khan / Freddie Hubbard / Joe Henderson / Chick Corea /        Stanley Clarke / Lenny White)


A1 Them There Eyes

A2 All Of Me

A3 I Mean You

A4 I Love You Porgy

A5 Take The A Train

B1 I Hear Music

B2 High Wire - The Aerialist

B3 All Of Me (Alternate Take)

B4 Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most + interviews



A1 This Is My Night

A2 Stronger Than Before

A3 My Love Is Alive

A4 Eye To Eyelman

A5 La Flamme

B1 I Feel For You

B2 Hold Her

B3 Through The Fire

B4 Caught In The Act

B5 Chinatown

1986 / DESTINY

1986 / DESTINY

A1 Love Of A Lifetime

A2 Earth To Mickey

A3 Watching The World

A4 The Other Side Of The World

A5 My Destiny

B1 I Can't Be Loved

B2 It's You

B3 So Close

B4 Tight Fit

B5 Who's It Gonna Be

B6 Coltrane Dreams

1988 / CK

1988 / CK

A1 Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I'm Yours)

A2 Soul Talkin'

A3 It's My Party

A4 Eternity

A5 Sticky Wicked

B1 The End Of A Love Affair

B2 Baby Me

B3 Make It Last

B5 I'll Be Around



A1 Everything Changes

A2 Give Me All

A3 Telephone

A4 Keep Givin' Me Lovin'

A5 Facts Of Love

A6 Love You All My Lifetime

B1 I Want

B2 You Can Make The Story Right

B3 Be My Eyes

B4 This Time

B5 The Woman I Am

B6 Don't Look At Me That Way

1998 / COME 2 MY HOUSE

1998 / COME 2 MY HOUSE

01 Come 2 My House

02 (Intro)

03 This Crazy Life Of Mine

04 Betcha I

05 Spoon

06 Pop My Clutch

07 Journey 2 The Center Of Your Heart

08 I'll Never B Another Fool

09 Democrazy

10 I Remember U

11 Reconsider (You Betta)

12 Don't Talk 2 Strangers

13 Hair

14 The Drama

2007 / FUNK THIS


01 Back In The Day

02 Foolish Fool

03 One For All Time

04 Angel

05 Will You Love Me?

06 Castles Made Of Sand

07 Disrespectful (feat. Mary J. Blige)

08 Sign 'O' The Times

09 Pack'd My Bags

10 You Got The Love (feat. Tony Maiden)

11 Ladies Man

12 You Belong To Me (feat. Michael McDonald)

13 Super Life


the Funky Soul story - radioshow The Black Music Live (with Rufus & Chaka Khan)