Chaka Khan is a musician par excellence who has recorded immense critical and commercial success in the course of her long-running career. Popularly known as the Queen of Funk, the highly talented songstress and multi-instrumentalist has sold over 70 million records since the beginning of her music career. Khan has won an astonishing 10 Grammy Awards.
The musician started her career as the lead vocalist of the funk band “Rufus” which went on to become one of the most influential of its kind in the 1970s. This music icon achieved even more success after she launched her solo career in the late 70s 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 platinum-certified 1984 album I Feel for You as well as three gold-certified albums. She released the classic hit “I’m Every Woman” off her debut album of 1978 and the single was made even more popular when Whitney Houston performed a cover version of it in 1992.
Chaka Khan Age and Background Details
Though she is known across the globe by her more popular stage moniker, she was born Yvette Marie Stevens on the 23rd of March 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. As a young teenager, she was given the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi by a Yoruba Baba. She was raised alongside 4 siblings in the Hyde Park area on the South Side of Chicago. Theirs was an artistic household and 2 of her siblings equally became professional musicians. Chaka formed her first music group at age 11, a girl group named “The Crystalettes” which included her younger sister Taka.
Growing up, she attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School. She dropped out of high school at the age of 16 after which she began performing with music groups in the Chicago area. She performed with a group named Lyfe alongside her then-boyfriend and future husband Hassan Khan. She later joined another group Goliath which disbanded a year later and she also performed regularly with another local Chicago group called Lock and Chain.
Chaka Khan eventually joined the band Rufus in 1972 as a replacement for the band’s initial lead vocalist Paulette McWilliams. This turned out to be a major turning point in the singer’s career as the band went on to become 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 attained gold certification or higher. While still with the band, Khan signed a solo deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1978 marking the beginning of an even more successful chapter in her music career.
Her Net Worth
Chaka Khan’s net worth is pegged at an estimated $30 million. As expected, this is a result of several decades of hard work and dedication to her craft. Over 70 million copies of her records have been sold since she began her career in the 1970s and there seems to be no slowing down for the award-winning music star in the near future.
Chaka’s Spouse and Children
Chaka Khan has been married to record producer Doug Rasheed since 2001. Prior to her current union, she has been married twice in the past. She has two children – a son and a daughter. As a teenager, she tied the knot with a fellow musician Hassan Khan in 1970. The union lasted barely one year as it ended in divorce the following year.
In the early 1970s, the singer got together with a man named Rahsaan Morris with whom she welcomed her first child, a daughter named Indira Milini Khan, born in 1973. Chaka Khan tied the knot with Richard Holland, her second husband, on August 14, 1976. 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 hiatus from making music. Her hiatus was further prolonged following the death of her longtime friend and collaborator Prince in 2016. She eventually resumed making music and by February 2019, she dropped her 12th studio album Hello Happiness.
Chaka Khan stands at a height of 5 feet 4 inches (163 cm). She is certainly not the tallest music star the world has ever known but what the Queen of funk lacks in physical stature, she has been known to adequately make up for it with her ebullient stage presence. The ageless songstress sports a trim physique having adopted a vegetarian diet to combat high blood pressure and diabetes.