Born 23rd March 1953, Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois, U.S.A., Chaka Khan was raised on Chicago’s South Side, and at the age of 11 formed her first group, the Crystalettes. While still in high school, she joined the Afro-Arts Theater, a group which toured with Motown great Mary Wells; a few years later, she adopted the African name Chaka Khan while working on the Black Panthers’ breakfast program. After quitting high school in 1969, Khan joined the group Lyfe, soon exiting to join another dance band, the Babysitters; neither was on the fast track to success, but her fortunes changed when she teamed with ex-American Breed member Kevin Murphy and Andre Fisher to form Rufus.
Debuting in 1973 with a self-titled effort on the ABC label, Rufus was among the preeminent funk groups of the decade; distinguished by Khan’s dynamic vocals, the group earned half a dozen gold or platinum albums before she went solo in 1978.
Chaka began her solo career with the hit, « Im Every Woman, » a tune written especially for her by the songwriting team of Ashford & Simpson. Since then, Chaka has recorded nine albums and been honored with five Grammy Awards. Her solo hits include « What Cha Gonna Do For Me? » « Clouds, » « Papillion, » « I Feel For You, » and « Through The Fire. »
Sister of Yvonne Stevens Taka Boom.