SALAMANCA — The legendary Chaka Khan will take the stage at the Seneca Allegany Events Center on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.
Known around the world as “Chaka,” the Chicago-born artist has the rare ability to sing in seven music genres including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. She is admired by millions of fans, as well as her peers for her timeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability.
The late Aretha Franklin said, “[Chaka] is a one-of-a-kind, premiere vocalist,” and the late Miles Davis often said, “She [Chaka] sings like my horn.”
A 10-time Grammy Award winner, Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians. As a songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, she has influenced generations of recording artists.
Throughout her remarkable career, Khan has released 22 albums and achieved 10 No. 1 Billboard magazine charted songs, seven RIAA certified gold singles and 10 RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. She has collaborated with artists including Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Steve Winwood, Mary J. Blige, George Benson, Larry Graham, the London Symphony Orchestra and countless others.
Her awards are too numerous to list but include the Soul Train Legend Award, BET Lifetime Achievement Award, the Grammy Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter and the World Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award.
Early in her career, Khan drew the interest of music icon Stevie Wonder who penned her first smash hit with Rufus, “Tell Me Something Good.” She earned her first Grammy Award from the single on the group’s 1974 platinum-selling album, Rags to Rufus.
They went on to become one of the most popular acts at the time selling out shows all over the country and dominating the airwaves with their hits including “You Got the Love,” “Once You Get Started,” “Sweet Thing,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel?” and “Ain’t Nobody,” Khan’s second Grammy Award-winning song with Rufus. During their time together, Rufus and Khan achieved five RIAA certified gold and platinum albums.
Not long after, Khan ventured out on her own with her star power talent as a singer. In 1978, she took the music scene by storm as a solo artist with the release of the smash hit “I’m Every Woman.” Her hits kept coming and included “Clouds,” “Papillon” and “What ‘Cha Gonna Do For Me?”
During this time, she began pursuing her love of jazz with her greatest achievement the Grammy Award-winning song, “Be Bop Medley.” The song’s album, titled Chaka Khan, also won her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
The song that propelled Khan to stardom was “I Feel For You,” written and first performed by Prince. The chart-topper was another of her Grammy Award-winning songs. Some of her other chart-topping hits included “This Is My Night” and “Through The Fire.”
Khan made her musical theater debut on London’s West End in 1995 when she starred in “Mama I Want to Sing.” In 2002, she traveled to Las Vegas where she starred in “Signed, Sealed Delivered,” a musical based on the music of Stevie Wonder. In 2008, she debuted on Broadway when she took over the role of Sofia in Oprah Winfrey’s musical, “The Color Purple.”
Khan said her latest album, “Hello Happiness,” reflects shifts in her life. Released in February 2019, it was her first studio album in 12 years. The album is full of upbeat, powerful tracks reminiscent of a “Soul Train” line.
In an interview with The New York Times, Khan said, “I’m a happier person these days. My entire life has been challenging and troublesome — and great, you dig? I may go in and out, like everybody else. I’m going through a nice slot right here. I’m achieving some things that I wanted to do for a long time.”
In June 2012, Khan was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and, in 2011, she was honored for her legendary career with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, she was honored with the United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars Tribute.
The Berklee College of Music presented Khan with an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 2004. Her autobiography, “Through the Fire,” was published in 2003 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay.
Khan has always made time to support and uplift her community. With a deep commitment to women and children at risk, she established the Chaka Khan Foundation in 1999. Khan received the McDonald Corporation’s 365Black Award, honoring her for her leadership of the Chaka Khan Foundation, in July 2012.