May 4, 2023 - News

Chaka Khan to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at last

Photo of a woman smiling

Chicago singer and songwriter Chaka Khan, in 1975. Photo: Leonard M. DeLessio/Corbis via Getty Images

Chicago musician Chaka Khan has finally ascended to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And it's about damn time.

  • The longtime R&B singer and frontwoman of the band Rufus has been eligible for the honor for 25 years and nominated several times.

State of play: Khan will be inducted as a solo artist, but she will also be recognized for work with her funk band Rufus.

  • This year marks her 50th in the music industry.

Context: Khan currently lives in Los Angeles but was born in Great Lakes, Illinois, and grew up on the South Side.

  • "Those are some of the most vivid memories of my whole life," she told VladTV in 2020 about Chicago.
Photo of a woman singing in to a microphone
Chaka Khan performing at Chicagofest in 1980. Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

Fun facts about "The Queen of Funk":

  • Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens.
  • When she was 11, she formed a girl group with her sister (Taka Boom) called The Crystalettes.
  • The singer attended Kenwood Academy but dropped out.
  • During that time, Khan joined the Black Panther Party and became friends with Fred Hampton.

Want more? I could go on and on about my favorite artist:

  • In the late '60s, Khan got her big break replacing the lead singer in Baby Huey & The Babysitters, which gained the attention of Curtis Mayfield and Ike Turner.
  • Her biggest Rufus song, "Tell Me Something Good," was written by Stevie Wonder.
  • Her first big solo hit "I Feel For You" was originally written by Prince.
Photo of a street sign
Blackstone Avenue at 51st Street, was renamed "Chaka Khan Way" during a street naming ceremony in 2013. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Tasty fact: She had a line of gourmet chocolates, called Chakalates.

The bottom line: Sitting in the lawn of the Petrillo Music Shell listening to the first bars of "Ain't Nobody" reminds me why Chicago is the best city in the world.

  • Congratulations, Chaka.

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