Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan (born March 23, 1953) is an American soul singer who first emerged as the featured vocalist of Chicago funksters Rufus during the mid-1970s.

Chaka Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953, in Chicago, the oldest of five children in a bohemian household. Her sister, Yvonne Stevens (b. 1954), also had a successful singing career under the name Taka Boom. Their brother, Mark Stevens, sang in soul-funksters Aurra.

As a child, her grandmother introduced her to jazz music. As tweens, both sisters sang in the girl group Crystalettes. At age 13, Yvette was christened Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi by a Yoruba Baba. For a time in the late 1960s, she sang in Lyfe, the backing band of electric blues guitarist Cash McCall. In 1970 at age 17, she married her then-boyfriend Hassan Khan. Despite their eventual divorce, she kept his surname.

In 1971, Khan served as a latter-day replacement for the late Baby Huey in his backing band The Babysitters. The following year, she was spotted by two members of an up-and-coming local act, Rufus. Between 1973 and 1981, she recorded six albums with the band, scoring a huge hit in 1974 with the Stevie Wonder-penned “Tell Me Something Good.”


  • Chaka (1978)
  • Naughty (1980)
  • What ‘Cha Gonna Do for Me (1981)
  • Chaka Khan (1982)
  • I Feel for You (1984)
  • Destiny (1986)
  • C.K. (1988)


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