Music Musings: Celebrating 40 years of Chaka Khan

As a musician and singer, I can tell you that there are actually a lot of good “voices” out there. So many people really can sing and perform. But one measure that separates the good from the great? Longevity. Some artists have been able to stay relevant through the very short attention span that is today’s music and entertainment industry.

I’m not sure how she’s done it, but Chaka Khan is the epitome of a music Superstar. 2013 celebrates her 40th year as a world-wide musical icon. Starting as a soul-force of the 70s black power movement with her band Rufus, Chaka Khan went on to become one of the most prominent artists of the disco era with songs like I’m Every Woman. Then at a time when many artists were rejected in the “Disco Sucks” era of the 80s, Chaka jumped to super-stardom with hits like I Feel for You and Through the Fire. And to think that today after 40 years in the business, she’s still sounding as good today as she ever did? That’s the mark of a true legend. 

UPDATE: Ms. Khan is also a legend even outside of the music world. She’s never been one to shy away from some of our nation’s toughest issues. Just today (July 27th), Khan sang for the Rainbow Push Coalition’s forum to combat gun violence in Chicago, just one day before her 40th anniversary concert in Millennium Park. She, like fellow music legend Stevie Wonder, has cancelled all upcoming performances in the Florida to protest the state’s Stand Your Ground law. 

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