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About Chaka Khan
While she’s known as “the queen of funk,” singer Chaka Khan has also been an important figure in soul and R&B during a career spanning five decades.
• Chaka Khan and her sister Taka Boom performed together in various groups as young women, including the Crystalettes and Shades of Black. They were also active in the Black Panther Party in their native Chicago.
• She has said the name Chaka Khan was given to her by a Yoruba priest she met as a teenager.
• Khan sang in the funk band Rufus from 1972 to 1983 and made a splash on their 1974 single “Tell Me Something Good,” which climbed to No. 3 on the pop and R&B charts. Stevie Wonder wrote the song, which won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo, Group, or Chorus.
• She was the first to record “I’m Every Woman,” for her 1978 solo debut, and the song reached the top of Billboard’s R&B chart. Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin would later record the tune.
• Her 1984 single “I Feel for You” is considered the first crossover hits to fuse hip-hop and R&B, thanks to an iconic opening rap from Melle Mel. The song won a Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance.
• In 1989, she teamed with Ray Charles and Quincy Jones on a version of “I’ll Be Good to You,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and won a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group.
• The singer competed briefly on Dancing With the Stars in 2015 and The Masked Singer in 2020.
• She has won 10 Grammys throughout her career, with 22 nominations.
- Great Lakes, IL
- Mar 23, 1953
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