Chaka Khan Part One
I’m going “To Tell You Something Good”, because I’m doing Chaka Khan Part One, and that’s “Good”. I have an album on this blog, and that’s “Great”, with information about her, is even “Greater”.
Yvette Marie Stevens (birthed March 23, 1953), better known by her stage name Chaka Khan, is an American singer, songwriter and also musician. Her career has spanned virtually five decades, starting in the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the funk band Rufus. Khan got public attention for her vocals and image. Referred to as the Queen of Funk, Khan was the first R&B musician to have a crossover hit featuring a rapper, with “I Feel for You“in 1984. Khan has actually won ten Grammys and also has sold an approximated 70 million records worldwide.
Chaka Khan in 2012
Yvette Marie Stevens
Also Known As
Chaka Adunne Aduffe Yemoja Hodarhi Karifi Khan
March 23, 1953 (age 66).
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
R&B soul funk pop disco gospel jazz.
Singer songwriter musician.
ABC Warner Bros. Reprise MCA NPG Burgundy.
Rufus, Prince, Natalie Cole, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Ashford & Simpson, Raymond D’Angelo Sims, George Benson, Stephen Bishop, Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, GladysKnight, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, Rick James, Cissy Houston, Lisa Fischer, Donna Summer, Miki Howard.
Throughout her solo career, Khan has achieved three gold singles, three gold albums and also one platinum album with I Feel for You. With Rufus, she accomplished four gold singles, four gold albums, and also two platinum albums. She has teamed up with Ry Cooder, Robert Palmer, Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Guru, Chicago, and Mary J. Blige, to name a few. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her as the 65th most successful dance musician of all time. She was ranked at number 17 in VH1‘s original list of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll. She has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two times; she was first nominated as member of Rufus in 2011.
1953–1972: Early Life
Chaka Khan was birth Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953 into an artistic, bohemian family in Chicago, Illinois. The eldest of five children birthed to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman, she has described her father as a beatnik and also her mother as “able to do anything.“ She was raised in the Hyde Park area, “an island in the middle of the madness“ of Chicago‘s rough South Side housing projects. Her sister Yvonne later became a successful musician in her own right under the name Taka Boom. Her only brother, Mark, that formed the funk band Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Zaheva Stevens and Tammy McCrary.
Khan was raised as a Catholic. She attributed her love of music to her grandmother, that introduced her to jazz as a child. Khan became a fan of rhythm and blues music as a preteen and at eleven formed a girl group, the Crystalettes, that included her sister Taka. In the late 1960s, Khan went to several civil rights rallies with her father‘s second wife, Connie, a strong advocate of the movement and joined the Black Panther Party after befriending fellow member, activist and also Chicago native Fred Hampton in 1967. Though many believe that she was given the name Chaka while in the Panthers, she has made it clear that her name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi was given to her at age 13 by a Yoruba Baba. In 1969, she left the Panthers and also dropped out of high school, having attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School (currently Kenwood Academy). She started to perform in small groups around the Chicago area, first performing with Cash McCall‘s group Lyfe, that included her then-boyfriend Hassan Khan. Chaka and Hassan wed in 1970.
She was asked to replace Baby Huey of Baby Huey & the Babysitters after Huey‘s death in 1970. The group disbanded a year later. While performing in local bands in 1972, Khan was spotted by two members of a new band called Rufus and quickly won her position in the band (replacing rock n roll singer Paulette McWilliams). The band caught the attention of musician Ike Turner that flew them out to Los Angeles to record at his studio Bolic Sound in Inglewood, California. Turner desired Khan to come to be an Ikette; she declined stating she was “really happy with Rufus. Yet Ike‘s interest was certainly a boost.“
Career 1973–1978: Early Career With Rufus
In 1973, Rufus signed with ABC Records and released their eponymous debut album. In spite of their intense performance of Stevie Wonder‘s “Maybe Your Baby“ from Wonder‘s well-known Talking Book and also the moderate success of the Chaka-led ballad “Whoever‘s Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)“, the album failed to gain interest. That changed when Wonder himself teamed up with the band on a song he had written for Khan. That song, “Tell Me Something Good“, became the band‘s breakthrough hit, reaching number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, later winning the band their first Grammy Award. The single‘s success and also the succeeding follow-up, “You Got the Love“, which peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100, helped their second parent album, Rags to Rufus, go platinum, selling over a million copies. From 1974 to 1979, Rufus released six platinum-selling albums including Rufusized, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Ask Rufus, Street Player and Masterjam. Hits the band scored during this time included “Once You Get Started,“ “Sweet Thing,““Hollywood,“ “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up),“ as well as “Do You Love What You Feel.“.
The band gained a reputation as a live performing act, with Khan becoming the star attraction, thanks to her powerful vocals and stage attire— which sometimes consisted of Native American clothes and revealing her stomach. Most of the band‘s material was written and produced by the band itself with a couple of exceptions. Khan has also been noted for being an musician, by playing drums as well as bass; she likewise supplied percussion throughout her tenure with Rufus. A lot of her compositions were collaborations with guitarist Tony Maiden. Relationships between Khan and the band, especially between her and Andre Fischer, that came to be stormy. Several members left with virtually every release. While Khan remained in the band, she signed a solo contract with Warner Bros. Records in 1978. While Khan was busy at work on solo material, Rufus released three albums without her participation consisting of 1979‘s Numbers, 1980‘s Party ‘Til You‘re Broke, and also 1983‘s Seal in Red.
1978–1983: Early Solo Career And Final Years With Rufus
In 1978, Warner Bros. Records released Khan‘s solo debut album, which included the crossover disco hit, “I‘m Every Woman“, written for her by singers-songwriters Ashford & Simpson. The success of the single aided the album go platinum, selling over a million copies. Khan also featured on Quincy Jones‘s hit, “Stuff Like That“, likewise released in 1978, which additionally included Ashford & Simpson as co-writers, in addition to Jones and also several others. Ashford & Simpson performed with Khan on the song.
In 1979, Khan reunited with Rufus to work together on the Jones-produced Masterjam, which featured their hit “Do You Love What You Feel“,which Khan sang with Tony Maiden. In spite of her sometimes-acrimonious relationship with a few of her bandmates, Khan as well as Maiden have kept a friendship for many years. In 1979 she also dueted with Ry Cooder on his album Bop Till You Drop. In 1980, while Rufus released Party ‘Til You‘re Broke, once more without Khan, she released her second solo album, Naughty, which featured her on the cover with her six-year-old daughter Milini. The album produced the disco hit “Clouds“ and also the R&B ballad “Papillon“.
Additionally in 1980, Khan had a cameo appearance as a church choir soloist in The Blues Brothers starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. Khan released two albums in 1981, the Rufus release, Camouflage and the solo album What Cha‘ Gonna Do for Me. The latter album went gold. The same year, Khan appeared on three tracks on Rick Wakeman‘s concept album 1984. In 1982, Khan released two more solo albums, the jazz-oriented Echoes of an Era and a more funk/pop-oriented self-titled album Chaka Khan. The latter album‘s track, the jazz-inflected “Be Bop Medley“, won Khan a Grammy and earned praise from jazz singer Betty Carter who loved Khan‘s vocal scatting in the song.
In 1983, following the release of Rufus‘s final studio album, Seal in Red, which did not feature Khan, the singer returned with Rufus on a live album, Stompin‘ at the Savoy – Live, which featured the studio single, “Ain’t Nobody“, which ended up being the band‘s last charting success reaching number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B chart, while also reaching the top ten in the UK. Following this release, Rufus separated for good.