Today, we tip our hats to the “Queen of Funk,” the legendary Chaka Khan. The Chicago-born musician, singer, and songwriter’s career has traversed over five decades and includes her time as a solo artist and with the funk band Rufus. The Queen has won 10 Grammy awards and brought home enough other hardware to fill a room, but her only solo platinum album was 1984’s I Feel For You.
If you think you’ve heard of it before, you’re right; Prince recorded it for his 1979 self-titled album. Khan’s version, however, became the more widely-known and successful hit. She also had quite the supporting cast – Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) was featured in the rap solo that opens the song, and Stevie Wonder also performed a harmonica solo.
Khan nabbed the Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance for I Feel For You and, in case you’re wondering, yes – she did team up with Prince to perform it during a tour in 1998. Even if you’re not a die-hard Chaka Khan fan, anybody can recognize the first few bars of this song. And she’s still performing – last year, she appeared as Miss Monster on Fox’s The Masked Singer and performed the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game.
Chaka Khan still killin’ it after five decades. We salute you!