The winning bidder for this exciting experience will, along with a guest:
- Enjoy Dinner with Chaka Khan at one of her favorite Los Angeles restaurants
- Receive a signed copy of her autobiography, Chaka! Through the Fire – a revealing and inspiring life journey from childhood through the birth and flourishing of an incredible career; the ups and downs and everything in between!
To date, singer/songwriter, Chaka Khan has won 10 Grammy Awards, including two as a famed member of funk band, Rufus. And ever since the tender age of 18, she’s lit up the worldwide music and cultural landscape of our times with 22 Grammy Award nominations across R&B, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Disco and Adult Contemporary.
In 1978, while still a member of Rufus, Khan embarked on a successful solo career. Her signature hits, both with Rufus and as a solo performer, include "Tell Me Something Good", "Sweet Thing" which she wrote for her then second husband Richard Holland, "Ain't Nobody", "I'm Every Woman", "I Feel for You" and "Through the Fire".
Frequently known as the “Queen of Funk,” the celebrated and Future Diva, Chaka Khan, was born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, Illinois where she was raised in the city’s rough, South Side housing projects. The eldest of five children, her sister Yvonne Stevens later became a successful musician in her own right under the name, Taka Boom. Her only brother, Mark Stevens, who formed the funk group Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Kathleen Burrell and Tammy McCrary, the latter becoming her manager in 1995.
Khan attributes her love of music to her grandmother, who introduced her to jazz music as a child. As a preteen, she became a fan of R&B music and at eleven formed her first all-female singing group, The Crystalettes, which also included her sister Taka. In the late 1960s, Khan and her sister formed the vocal group Shades of Black and, after befriending fellow member, activist and Chicago native Fred Hampton in 1967, joined the Black Panther Party where Chaka headed up the Free Breakfast Program for the children of the South Side community.
In 1969, during a naming ceremony at Chicago’s Affro-Arts Theater, a Yoruba priest christened her with a name change to Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi . That same year, she left the Panthers, dropped out of high school, and began to perform in small groups around the Chicago area, first performing with the group Lyfe, which included her boyfriend, Hassan Khan.
In 1971, Khan was spotted by two members of a new group simply called Rufus and soon won her position as a member and vocalist. She also married Khan that year, officially becoming Chaka Khan.
Rufus would release their self-titled debut album in 1974 and, despite their fiery rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Maybe Your Baby" from Wonder's acclaimed Talking Book, the album failed to garner attention. But all of that changed when Wonder himself collaborated with the group on a song he wrote for Khan. That song, "Tell Me Something Good", from their third album, Rufusized became the group's breakthrough hit, winning them their first Grammy® Award. Their fourth album, Rags to Rufus, went platinum and between 1974 and 1979, Rufus would release six platinum-selling albums including, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Ask Rufus, Street Player and Masterjam. Hits the group would score during this time included "Once You Get Started", "Sweet Thing", "Hollywood", "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)" and "Do You Love What You Feel."
In 1978, Warner Bros. Records released Khan's debut solo album, which featured the crossover disco hit, "I'm Every Woman," written for her by songwriters Ashford & Simpson. The success of the single helped the album go platinum, selling over a million copies.
Khan released two albums in 1981, the Rufus release, Camouflage and the solo album, What Cha' Gonna Do for Me. In 1982, Khan issued two more solo albums, the jazz-oriented Echoes of an Era and a more funk/pop-oriented self-titled album. The latter album's track, the jazz-inflected "Bebop Medley", earned Khan a Grammy® and resounding acclaim for her formidable vocal scatting in the song.
In 1983, following the release of Rufus' final studio album, Seal in Red, which did not feature Khan, the singer returned with Rufus on a live album, Stompin' at the Savoy - Live, which featured the studio single, "Ain't Nobody," and became the group's final charting success reaching number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100, number-one on the Hot R&B chart as well as top ten in the U.K. Following this release, Rufus separated for good.
In 1984, Khan released her sixth studio album, I Feel for You. The title track was the first single released. Originally written and recorded by Prince, it had been previously recorded by The Pointer Sisters and Mary Wells. Khan's version featured a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder and an introductory rap by Grandmaster Melle Mel. This version of the song became a million-selling smash in the U.S. and UK, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1984, remaining on that chart for 26 weeks, well into 1985. Yet another best-selling single from the album “Through the Fire” blazed the adult contemporary charts as well.
Khan followed up with 1986's Destiny and was also featured that year in Steve Winwood's number one hit, "Higher Love." Khan found more success in the late 1980s with CK along with a remix album, Life is a Dance - The Remix Project, which reached the top ten on the UK albums chart. As a result Khan performed regularly in the United Kingdom, where, among other countries she maintains a strong fan base.
In 1990, she was a featured performer on another major hit when she collaborated with Ray Charles and Quincy Jones on a new jack swing cover of The Brothers Johnson's "I'll Be Good to You", which was featured on Jones' Back on the Block. The song reached number-eighteen on the Billboard Hot 100 and number-one on the Hot R&B chart, later winning Charles and Khan a Grammy ® for Best R&B Vocal Performance By a Duo or Group. Khan then returned in 1992 with her first studio album in four years with the release of The Woman I Am, which went gold thanks to the R&B success of the songs "Love You All My Lifetime" and "You Can Make the Story Right".
In 1995, she and rapper Guru had a hit in the U.K. with the duet "Watch What You Say.” That same year, she provided a contemporary R&B cover of the classic standard, "My Funny Valentine", for the Waiting to Exhale soundtrack. In 1998, Khan signed a contract with Prince's NPG Records label and issued Come 2 My House, followed by the single "Don't Talk 2 Strangers", a cover of a 1996 Prince song. Khan later went on a tour with Prince as a co-headlining act.
In 1999, out of a shared vision, Chaka and her sister/manager, Tammy McCrary, founded The Chaka Khan Foundation: Assisting Women and Children At Risk.
In 2004 released her first jazz covers album in twenty-two years with 2004's ClassiKhan. Three years later, Khan released what many critics called a "comeback album" with Funk This, produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The album featured the hit, "Angel", and the Mary J. Blige duet, "Disrespectful". The latter track went to number one on the U.S. dance singles chart, winning the singers a Grammy® Award, while Funk This also won a Grammy® for Best R&B Album. The album was notable for Khan's covers of Dee Dee Warwick's "Foolish Fool" and Prince's "Sign o' the Times."
The following year, Khan collaborated with Clay Aiken on a song for the kids show Phineas and Ferb, and performed two songs with Japanese singer Ai on Ai's latest album The Last Ai. Khan continues to perform to packed audiences both in her native United States and overseas.
On May 19, 2011, Khan was given the 2,440th Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque on a section of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Her family was present when the singer accepted the honor, as was Stevie Wonder, who had written her breakout hit "Tell Me Something Good."
Dinner with Chaka Khan will take place in Los Angeles, California and may be converted to Lunch by mutual decision. Dinner or Lunch and two drink tickets per person will be provided. Winner and guests are solely responsible for any travel and/or accommodations to and from Los Angeles and the restaurant that will be designated by Chaka Khan. The date of Dinner or Lunch is subject to the schedule availability of Chaka Khan and must be scheduled on or before June 20, 2013. Winning bidder is asked to submit requested date(s) no less than two weeks in advance and will be provided contact information for submission of request within the Award Letter to follow. Winner and guests must be 21 years or older to receive drink tickets and/or consume alcoholic beverages.