Chaka Khan Biography

Chaka Khan, also known as the Queen of Funk, is an American recording artist with a career spanning over five decades. With ten Grammy wins and recognition as the 65th most successful dance artist of all time, Khan has made a significant impact in the music industry. Born in Chicago, she developed a love for jazz at a young age, eventually joining the group Rufus and releasing her first album at twenty. Alongside her successful music career, Khan is known for her charitable work, establishing the Chaka Khan Foundation to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with autism. Additionally, she has showcased her talent as an actress, starring in the musical ‘Mama, I Want to Sing’ as Sister Carrie.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Yvette Marie Stevens
  • Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Females
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Doug Rasheed, Hassan Khan, Richard Holland
    • Father: Charles Stevens
    • Mother: Sandra Coleman
    • Siblings: Kathleen Burrell, Mark Stevens, Tammy McCrary, Yvonne Stevens
    • Children: Damien Holland, Milini Khan
  • African Americans
  • Composers
  • Height: 5’4″ (163 cm), 5’4″ Females
  • U.S. State: Illinois, African-American From Illinois
  • Education: Berklee College of Music

Childhood & Early Life

Chaka Khan, originally named Yvette Marie Stevens, was born on March 23rd, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Hyde Park, an island area, with her father Charles Stevens and mother Sandra Coleman. Chaka Khan has four siblings, including a brother named Mark and three sisters named Yvonne, Zaheva, and Tammy. At a young age, she developed a passion for music after being introduced to jazz by her grandmother. She also became involved in the civil rights movement and joined the Black Panther party with her stepmother. Chaka Khan attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School, where she began performing music in small groups around the Chicago area. It was during this time that she was discovered by the group Rufus in 1972.


Rufus released their debut album in 1973, which did not gain much attention. However, their song “Tell Me Something Good” became a huge hit, reaching the third position on the US Hot 100 and earning the group their first Grammy Award in 1974. Chaka Khan’s popularity grew as she gained attention for her extraordinary vocals and unique attire. She eventually decided to pursue a solo career and signed a contract with Warner Bros. In 1978, she released her self-titled debut solo album, which included the hit song “I’m Every Woman.” The album sold over a million copies and earned her a Grammy nomination. Chaka Khan continued to release successful albums over the next few years, including “Echoes of An Era” (1982), “I Feel for You” (1984), and “Destiny” (1986), which featured hits such as “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me” and “Got to Be There.”

By the end of the 1990s, Chaka Khan’s popularity began to fade as musical trends changed. However, she continued to collaborate with other artists and release albums. In 1990, she collaborated with Ray Charles on the hit song “I’ll Be Good to You,” which won her another Grammy. Two years later, she released “The Woman I Am,” which was a commercial success and earned her another Grammy award. Chaka Khan released several compilation albums and continued to receive recognition for her music, winning another Grammy in 2003 for the song “What’s Going On” with The Funk Brothers. In 2007, she released the Grammy-winning album “Funk This,” featuring the hit single “Disrespectful” with Mary J. Blige.

In recent years, Chaka Khan has made fewer appearances. In 2016, she released the single “I Love Myself” and entered rehab for her long-standing struggle with drug abuse.

Major Works

One of Chaka Khan’s most significant works is the album “The Woman I Am.” Released in 1992, the album included hit singles such as “Love You All My Lifetime,” “Facts of Love,” and “Be My Love.” It not only achieved commercial success but also won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.

Chaka Khan gained immense popularity for her rendition of the song “I Feel for You.” Originally written by Prince for his debut album, Khan’s version became the most successful and popular. The song earned her two Grammy nominations, winning one, and reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Awards & Achievements

Throughout her career, Chaka Khan has won ten Grammy Awards out of 22 nominations. Some of her notable wins include Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female for “The Woman I Am” in 1993 and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “What’s Going On” with The Funk Brothers in 2003. She has also received two Soul Train Awards and the United Negro College Fund Award.

Personal Life

Chaka Khan has had multiple marriages and relationships. She got married at the age of 17 to Hassan Khan, but they divorced shortly after. She then had a relationship with Rahsaan Morris, resulting in the birth of her daughter Indira Milini. In 1976, she married Richard Holland and had a son with him.

Chaka Khan has struggled with drug abuse for many years and entered rehab in 2016. She adopted a vegan diet for health reasons. In 2006, she faced controversy when her son was accused of murder. Despite these challenges, Chaka Khan is known for her philanthropic activities and founded the Chaka Khan Foundation to support autistic children and children from low-income families.

Leave a Comment