Thursday, May 26, 2022

Chaka Khan Talks Prince, Aretha Franklin and the Song She Calls a ‘Mixed Blessing’

Chaka Khan

*Chaka Khan would really prefer if fans not greet her with the catchy intro from her hit song “I Feel For You,” which remains her only UK number one.

In an interview with the BBC’s Lucy Todd, the music legend explains why it annoys her when people on the street approach her and dare say “Ch-Ch-Chaka Khan,” as heard in the 1984 classic.

When Todd notes that “You must have had it for over 30 years now,” the soul songstress replies: “Yes – and I’ll have it for the next 50 as well… sure.”

She adds: “It was a great track. It’s a mixed blessing – like many of my songs are.”

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As noted in the BBC Music report, “I Feel For You” first appeared on a “1979 electro/synth album” by Prince, before it was remined into an R&B cover that Chaka made a classic.

Prince produced her ninth studio album “Come 2 My House” in 1998.

“He was a genius,” she says of the late musician. “It was amazing and I’m so thankful that I got to work with somebody who was so like-minded, musically.

“It took us two weeks to do that whole CD – which is an indicator of how brilliant he is.”

She also describes the “Purple Rain” singer as “a good person.”

“We were like brother and sister and loved each other very much. You miss people like that always,” Chaka says.

“I thought that about Aretha [Franklin] too. That if Aretha ever left, the world wouldn’t be the same, and it isn’t. It feels very different without her on the planet.”

Khan delivered a powerful rendition of gospel song “Going Up Yonder” at Franklin’s funeral, but she’s disappointed that many outlets chose to focus on the song’s lyrics on the back of a fan she was holding.

“That was not supposed to be the focus,” she says forcefully. “The focus was that I was there to pay my respects to my sister, before she went off – not that I had to put my words on the fan.

“It’s so trite,” she adds. “How sad this business is that we’re in when people force themselves to ponder and to focus on something like that at such a momentous time.”

Khan was close to Franklin. “We loved each other,” she says.

“It’s always sad to lose someone – or to know you’re not going to see them any more in your life… on this earth.

“But actually death is a part of life. She fought and fought her sickness for many years and it’s time to just give it up and relax – just go home.

“I was just focused on giving her a good send-off,” she adds.

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Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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