Chaka Khan is a musician par excellence who has achieved immense critical and commercial success over the course of her long career. The highly talented singer and multi-instrumentalist, popularly known as the Queen of Funk, has sold over 70 million records since the beginning of her musical career. Khan has won an astonishing 10 Grammy Awards.
The musician began her career as the lead singer of the funk band “Rufus”, which became one of the most influential of its kind in the 1970s. This musical icon achieved even greater success after she launched her solo career in the late 1970s with the release of her self-titled debut album Chaka. Since becoming a solo artist in 1978, Chaka Khan has released up to 12 studio albums, including the 1984 platinum-certified album I Feel for You and three gold-certified albums. From her 1978 debut album, she released the classic hit “I’m Every Woman” and the single became even more popular when Whitney Houston performed a cover version of it in 1992.
Chaka Khan Age and Background Details
Although she is known throughout the world under her more familiar stage name, she was born on March 23, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois, as Yvette Marie Stevens. As a young teenager, she was given the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi by a Yoruba Baba. She grew up with 4 siblings in the Hyde Park area on the South Side of Chicago. Her household was an artists’ household, and 2 of her siblings also became professional musicians. Chaka formed her first music group at the age of 11, a girl group called “The Crystalettes”, which included her younger sister Taka.
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As she grew up, she attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School. She dropped out of high school at the age of 16 and began performing with music groups in the Chicago area. She performed with a group called Lyfe alongside her then-boyfriend and future husband, Hassan Khan. She later joined another group called Goliath, which disbanded a year later, and she also performed regularly with another local Chicago group called Lock and Chain.
Chaka Khan finally joined the band Rufus in 1972 to replace the original lead singer Paulette McWilliams. This proved to be an important turning point in the singer’s career as the band became one of the most influential funk groups of the 1970s. Of the 8 studio albums released by Chaka Khan and Rufus between 1973 and 1981, 6 of them have achieved Gold certification or higher. While still with the band, Khan signed a solo deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1978, which marked the beginning of an even more successful chapter in their music career.
Her Net Worth
Chaka Khan’s net worth is estimated at $30 million. As expected, this is the result of several decades of hard work and dedication to her craft. Since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, over 70 million copies of her records have been sold, and there seems to be no slowdown for the award-winning musician in the near future.
Chaka’s Spouse and Children
Chaka Khan has been married to record producer Doug Rasheed since 2001. Before their current relationship, she was married twice in the past. She has two children – a son and a daughter. As a teenager, she formed an alliance with her musician colleague Hassan Khan in 1970. The union lasted barely a year, as it ended in divorce the following year.
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In the early 1970s, the singer met a man named Rahsaan Morris, with whom she welcomed her first child, a daughter born in 1973 named Indira Milini Khan. Chaka Khan entered into a covenant with Richard Holland, her second husband, on August 14, 1976, and with him, she had her second child in 1979, a son named Damien Holland.
Where Is She Now?
After the release of her 11th album Funk This in 2007, Khan took a long break from making music. This break was extended even further after the death of her long time friend and collaborator Prince in 2016. Eventually, she resumed making music, and in February 2019 she put down her 12th studio album Hello Happiness.
Chaka Khan stands at a height of 163 cm (5 feet 4 inches). She is certainly not the biggest music star the world has ever known, but what the queen of funk lacks in physical stature, she makes up for with her exuberant stage presence. The ageless singer has a slim build and eats a vegetarian diet to fight high blood pressure and diabetes.