Chaka Khanwas born on March 23, 1953 in Great lakes, Illinios. Chaka was raised by her parents, Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman, on Chicago’s South Side. She formed her first group when she was only eleven years old. The group was called the Crystalettes. She joined the Afro-Arts Theater which was a group that toured with Mary Wells. She later teamed up with Kevin Murphy and Andre’ Fisher to form the group called, Rufus. She also married bass guitarist, Hassan Khan so her name became Chaka Khan. The band Rufus released their debut album called Rufus, in 1973 on the ABC Label. The group played funk style music and it was the beginning of the funk era. The group had the help of Stevie Wonder and they released mucic which hit both the Pop and R&B charts in 1974 with the hit, Tell Me Something Good. In the 1070's and the 1980's, the group had many R&B hits. Some of them were, Do You Love What You Feel, Once You Get Started, Sweet Thing, Masterjam, and Tell Me Something Good. They had 6 gold or platinum albums and 2 gold singles. Chaka decided to go solo in 1978. In 1978 she released the disco smash hit, I’m Every Woman, which hit number 1 on the R&B charts and number 21 on the Pop charts. These hits came from her album called, Chaka. She had a few problems because she had an agreement with her former group, Rufus, for 2 more LPs. She released her second album, Naughty, in the 1980's. Her background singers were Luther Vandross, Cissy Houston, and Whitney Houston.
Chaka also tried her hand at jazz and hip hop music. She sang a variety of styles. Not many musicians can do that successfully. In 2004, she released her cover album, ClassiKhan, on her own label, Earth Song Records and Sanctuary Records. She received an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Mucic in December, 2004. She is still recording and is now contracted with Sony BMGs new label, Burgundy Records. In December, 2006, she recorded on a Christmas compilation with other performers such as Idol Vonzell Solomon, Sandra Bernhard, Ben Jelen, and many others. Her newest album released is a combination of cover songs and some of her original material. The album was produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and James Wright. The album was released in 2007 and it debuted at number 15 on the Top 200 Album Chart, number 5 on the R&B Album chart. This was her highest chart position for any of her albums and it sold over 39,000 copies. She has released a total of 17 albums, 1 compilation, 39 singles, and 11 albums with the group Rufus during her musical career.
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