If you are unfamiliar with Chaka Khan, hearing the name for the first time might give you the impression that the bearer is Indian. However, that impression, albeit understandable, would be wrong because Chaka Khan is very much American, with zero familial ties to the Indian community.
The lady behind the name has been in the music industry for over 45 years, living through what many have described as the golden years of American music. Her peers are music legends like Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and many others. Ms. Khan has enjoyed huge success that has made her quite wealthy. She has, however, also had her share of failures too, particularly in her love life as she has been divorced twice.
Chaka Khan’s First Marriage Was at the Age of Seventeen
Teenagers marrying each other is a story that has existed for decades. Some of them end up lasting a lifetime, while some become another evidence against the foolishness of teenage hubris. In a way, Chaka Khan’s was the latter. She was 17 years old when she married Hassan Khan in 1970.
At the time, Khan was a rising star as a member of the Chicago band, Rufus. Her growing success with Rufus prompted a record label to offer a record deal but because she was a minor, she couldn’t accept it on her own. Her mother, Sandra Coleman, also refused to sign it.
In order to fulfill her dream of making it as a musician, Khan married her boyfriend Hassan as being a wife would release her mother as her guardian. The young girl claimed to be pregnant to hasten the process.
While the primary reason for getting married did work, and Chaka Khan went on to become a major music star, the marriage itself failed, ending within a year of them exchanging vows. The couple never had a child together but Chaka later did so from another relationship.
She Met Her Next Husband During A Drug Overdose
By the time Chaka Khan was in her early 20s, music had consumed her life. She worked hours in the studio with Rufus and used drugs as a crutch for the stress. On one fateful day, she took a heavy-duty sleeping pill, and shortly after, was in an ambulance getting her stomach pumped.
It turned out that during her blackout, she had walked over to the home of her next-door neighbor, Richard Holland. She is said to have walked to his bed, knelt on the floor, and collapsed. His decision to call 911 saved her life. After surviving the ordeal, Khan began a relationship with him. The pair later got married in 1976 and welcomed a child named Damien Holland.
Chaka Khan and Richard Holland remained together for four years, from 1976 to 1980, before they parted ways. Their marriage came to an end as a result of them not agreeing on a variety of issues, most notably Holland’s desire for his wife to tone down her sexy stage image.
The Iconic Singer is Now a Grandmother
Damien Holland was the only child Chaka Khan had during wedlock, but as mentioned above, he isn’t her only child. The singer gave birth to her first child, Indira Milini, in December 1973. Her father is Rahsaan Morris, whom Khan dated after her marriage to Hassan Khan ended.
Indira Milini followed in her mother’s step and was a part of the singing group, Pretty in Pink. She made Chaka Khan a grandmother when she gave birth to her child Raeven, at the age of 18.
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Love 💜 of family is like no other 💋 @raeven_alexis #Mackenzie 💜 ・・・ 4/5 Generations • @raeven_alexis “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord. And he worshiped the Lord there.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV 📸: @nalaopticsphoto
Damien Holland, Chaka’s second child, was born in 1979. He has had a more troubled life compared to his sister. Damien has had trouble with drugs and the law. In 2006, he was accused of murder, prompting his mother to testify on his behalf. He was later acquitted in the criminal trial but found liable in a civil suit.
Through him, the music icon became a grandmother again. Damien and his partner gave birth to Daija Jade Holland. However, because of his lifestyle, Chaka Khan won permanent custody of Daija after reporting him for child neglect. Daija now lives with her grandmother and her current partner, Doug Rasheed.
Chaka Khan Has Been Married to Doug Rasheed since 2001
After her first two marriages failed, Chaka Khan dated a few men. One of them was a schoolteacher in the Chicago-area whom she dated in the 1980s. At the time, she had left Rufus, and was enjoying success as a solo star. Another notable relationship was with Doug Rasheed.
While no one knows exactly how the two came to be, Doug is a record producer so the belief is that they met in the line of work. They have been together since 2001, becoming the longest marriage of Chaka Khan’s life.
As a record producer, Doug Rasheed has 236 credits to his name. One of those credits include Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise, and 2Pac’s Only God Can Judge Me. But while he is an undoubtedly successful musician, his success doesn’t compare to that of his wife.
Chaka Khan Is One of the World’s Best-Selling Musicians
People don’t just revere Chaka Khan because of the era her name comes from and the movements and style it pioneered. They also do because of the wide-ranging successes she has recorded since she picked up the mic in her preteen years. From wealth to record sales and awards, the Queen of Funk has plenty of proof for her success.
An Impressive Discography
Khan began her career at the age of 11. She was a part of the girl group, Crystalettes, but didn’t become a professional until she joined Rufus. With Rufus where she was lead singer, she released nine albums. However, her iconic status came largely from her solo career.
Khan released her first solo studio album in 1978. She has since then released an additional 12 more projects. She also has five compilation albums, one live album, and has released 42 singles. Four of her albums reached the Top 20 of the Billboard Albums Chart while two of her singles reached Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.
So far, Chaka Khan has managed to sell more than 70 million records worldwide, placing her among the best-selling musicians of all time.
Multiple Awards and Legacy
Khan’s discography puts her among a small standout group in human history, and it has also earned her plenty of awards and accolades. She has 22 Grammy Award nominations to her name and has won ten of them. Only three of her nominations came during her time with Rufus.
Other awards she has received include American Music Awards, UK Music Video Awards, Hollywood Music In Media Awards, and a few others. In recognition of her legacy, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She got the star for her contributions to music in 2011.
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💜 @RockHall 💋 Thank you 🎼 ・・・ One of the most influential and popular R&B acts of the 1970s, Chicago band #Rufus and superstar frontwoman @chakaikhan created timeless hits like “Tell Me Something Good”, effortlessly creating music rooted in soul, rock, funk and jazz. Vote for the #RockHall2020 Nominee on @google in the @klipschaudio Fan Vote (link in bio)
Other legacy awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from BET Awards, SoulMusic Hall of Fame, Legends Award, and Lena Horne Award. She has also been nominated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a solo performer and a member of Rufus. She is ranked as the 65th most successful dance artist of all time and 17th in the Greatest Women of Rock and Roll.
A Huge Net Worth
Lastly, Chaka Khan’s success is most evident in her wealth. The Queen of Funk has a $30 million net worth based on calculations by Celebrity Net Worth. Her wealth comprises of income earned through album sales, concerts, and show performances in over four decades as a musician.
Chaka famously refers to herself as an alpha chick, and it is most evident in her lifestyle. Her wealth enables her to live in mansions and drive luxurious cars. She also has a philanthropic side and has donated to multiple charities and foundations. She has two charities of her own – We Are Family Foundation and the Chaka Khan Foundation.