The NCMA presents one of the most celebrated voices in American popular music. Chaka Khan is a 10-time Grammy Award recipient who’s sold 70 million records worldwide. Aretha Franklin called Khan a “one-of-a-kind premier vocalist,” and jazz legend Miles Davis often said, “She sings like my horn.”
Chaka Khan gained the attention of the nation in 1974 as lead vocalist with the funk band Rufus. The single “Tell Me Something Good” from Rags to Rufus earned Khan her first Grammy. She launched her solo career in 1978 and was propelled to superstardom with her cover of the Prince song “I Feel for You,” the first R&B song to feature rap.
Over a long and storied career, Khan has collaborated with the giants of pop and jazz, acted and sung in musical theater, including a stint on Broadway, and served various humanitarian causes. She continues to create and perform with boundless energy. Her latest EP, Hello Happiness (2019), “cuts straight through with full-tilt, life-affirming power” (AllMusic).
And this from a recent interview in the New York Times: “At 65, Khan—who used to play basketball with her longtime friend Prince (‘I’m not trying to run around the court,’ she said, but ‘I can shoot’)—talked about taking ownership over her career and why she has no plans to retire. ‘I can still play basketball right now,’ she said, ‘and I can still drop it like it’s hot onstage.’ ”