1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

1978 Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman

Yvette Marie Stevens grew up in Chicago with a father she described as a beatnik. At age 13, a Babalawo of the Yoruba community gave her the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi.

She formed an R&B group, the Crystalettes, and later began singing in the group Lyfe. She met and married another member of the group, Hassan Khan. This led to her using the name Chaka Khan. Besides singing, Chaka sometimes played bass and percussion.

When the American Breed fell apart in 1969, members of the group formed a new band, Smoke, that soon after became renamed Rufus. Chaka joined the group in 1972 when Paulette McWilliams left. Ike Turner asked her to become one of the Ikettes, but she turned down the invitation and stayed with Rufus.

Stevie Wonder wrote Tell Me Something Good for Chaka, and that single took Rufus to #3 on both the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in 1974. A long string of successful recordings followed over the next few years.

While remaining a member of Rufus, Chaka signed with Warner Brothers and released her first solo album in 1978. The lead singleI’m Every Woman, was written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson and produced by Arif Mardin.

The single peaked at #21 on the Hot 100 and reached the top of the R&B chart.

Rufus recorded a few albums without Chaka, but she participated in their final album, which was recorded live at the Savoy in 1983. She then pursued her solo career exclusively. While a few of her singles reached the Hot 100, most of them were more successful on the R&B chart.

The 1989 remix of I’m Every Woman reached the top of the US Dance chart.

In 2011, Chaka received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star plaque.

In 2015, Chaka was the first dancer eliminated on Dancing With The Stars. In 2020, she performed as a contestant on The Masked Singer television show.


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