*Ten time Grammy winner Chaka Khan has always lived up to her hit song, “I’m Every Woman…It’s all in me.”
Chaka not only stars in Disney’s “The One and Only Ivan” as circus performer Henrietta, but revealed she once ran away and joined the circus.
“I love to travel and got into the traveling aspect of it,” she told EURweb in an exclusive interview. “I learned quite a few things while I was in the circus. But I’ve always been against the cruel treatment of animals and caging them. So the zoo has never been a favorite place of mine.”
Full of surprises, Chaka is a favorite of millions, including myself. Whether with Rufus or solo, the icon’s repertoire includes some of the music world’s best and most recognized songs. Music aside, she is a kickass personality. I remember clearly interviewing her once for a British magazine when she lived around the corner from me–a lot of celebrities live in my neighborhood including Kevin Bacon–before she headed off to Switzerland.
Even back then in the 80s, Chaka was woke, talking about the Atlanta Murders, the KKK and what black artists had to endure. There was an item in the media at that time about what she wore onstage and I never forgot her response.
“I wear clothes because of the comfort. Many guys have gotten the blueprint of my foot in their faces because they tried to pull some s—t.”
Performing in “Ivan” has brought Chaka much joy she says.
“It inspired me. I was happy to have been a part of a production like this. It’s a great career opportunity to have worked with so many fantastic people whom I’ve adored, many of them for a very long time; and getting together to send something to the world that is beautiful and meaningful.”
Among the things Chaka wants viewers to walk away with is the idea of kindness.
“Kindness goes a long way, and having patience goes a long way. Truth goes a very long way,” she pointed out. And playing Henrietta was a complement to Chaka’s character. “She is just like me, or I’m very much like her. Getting what needs to be done is what it’s all about. It was a good pairing.”
And if you’re wondering, nope, there is nothing on the drawing board right now for new music or films.
“You’ll be the first to know, darling,” the one and only Chaka Khan told me. She is, however, working on her life story.
“We’re working on the nuts and bolts right now. I’ve got my daughter in mind to play me. But I’m in no hurry because this is something that’s going to tell about my life. I’ve got to live with it, and I want to be proud of it. So I’m focusing on that right now.”
“The One and Only Ivan” is an adaptation of the award-winning book about a very special gorilla and the beauty of friendship and starts streaming exclusively on Disney+ on Friday, August 21.