If you are unfamiliar with Chaka Khan, hearing the name for the first time might give you the impression that the bearer of the name is Indian. However, that impression, albeit understandable, would be wrong because Chaka Khan is very much American, with exactly zero familial ties to the Indian community.
Chaka Khan has been known in the music industry for over 45 years and has lived through what many have described as the golden years of American Music, with her peers being legends like Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and many others.
While some of her peers have passed away, Chaka Khan continues to maintain relevance as a jazz and funk singer, releasing music projects well into her 60s. Read all about her and her career below.
Chaka Khan – Biography & Age
Jazz and Funk icon, Chaka Khan was born as Yvette Marie Stevens on the 23rd of March, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois. Her name, Chaka was given to her by a Yoruba man when she was 13 years old, with the full adopted name being Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi. The last name ‘Khan’ was a result of marriage.
Chaka Khan was born into a musical household that had Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman as the patriarch and matriarch of the household, along with four siblings. Her notoriety began at a young age, while she was in high school through her membership with the Black Panther Party. After she decided to drop out of school, Chaka Khan began life as a singer and began to perform with small groups across the Chicago area.
In 1972, she joined the band, ‘Rufus’ and began her climb to stardom. Although the band was a small group relatively unknown group before she joined, it was signed onto ABC Records shortly after in 1973 and they went on to produce several platinum albums, winning major awards like the Grammys.
Following creative differences and an ambitious spirit, Chaka Khan began a solo career in 1978 and released a few albums as a solo artist, going on to sell several million copies. Despite her individual success, she reunited with her Rufus group to release other albums like Masterjam.
Outside of singing, Chaka Khan has made multiple appearances in movies and TV shows, such as The Blues Brothers and Empire. Her relationship with the acting industry has also extended to soundtracks, with over 90 soundtrack credits to her name thus far.
Over the course of her career, Chaka Khan has been a recipient of over 20 Grammy nominations, winning at least 10 of them.
An accomplished and talented singer like Chaka Khan not only has the longevity to show for her talent but she also has her wealth. With over 70 million copies of albums sold across the world, a figure larger than the population of several countries, along with multiple touring gigs, Chaka Khan has a net worth estimated to be $30 million. There is no denying she deserves every penny of it.
Spouse And Children
Chaka Khan has two children, a daughter and a son named Indira Milini and Damien Holland. Her first child, Indira was born out of wedlock from a relationship with Rahsaan Morris. Although details of the relationship are currently unknown, the product of the relationship has been a proud part of Chaka’s life.
Her first marriage was to Hassan Khan when she was 17 years of age. The marriage began in 1970 and ended shortly after, leaving no real evidence other than the memories. Her second child came off of her second marriage, a more appropriate and adult marriage to Richard Holland in 1976. The marriage did not last, ending in 1980 due to irreconcilable differences. Before it did, Chaka Khan had her second child, Damien Holland.
Although she never remarried following the end of that marriage in 1980, Chaka Khan has been in a couple of relationships since then, including dating a Chicago school teacher.
Chaka Khan’s Height
As a musician, her voice and her lyrics might be her greatest asset but those in show business will often say it is quite important to have an attractive body too and in that regard, Chaka Khan succeeded as well.
With a height of 5 feet 4 inches, at the height of her career and in her younger years, she was one of the most attractive entertainers in the business. While nature has played its part as she grew older, Chaka has been able to maintain a healthy life through veganism and exercise.