Yvette Marie Stevens, 23 March 1953, Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Illinois, USA. Having sung with several Chicago club bands, including Lyfe, Lock And Chains and Baby Huey And The Babysitters, Chaka Khan became acquainted with Ask Rufus, a group formed from the remnants of hit group the American Breed. When Khan replaced original singer Paulette McWilliams, the line-up truncated its name to Rufus and as such released a succession of superior funk singles. Khans stylish voice was the groups obvious attraction and in 1978 she began recording as a solo act. Im Every Woman topped the US R&B chart that year while subsequent releases, What Cha Gonna Do For Me (1981) and Got To Be There (1982), consolidated this position. However, a 1984 release, I Feel For You, established the singer as an international act when it reached number 3 in the USA and number 1 in the UK pop charts. This exceptional performance was written by Prince and featured contributions from Stevie Wonder and Melle Mel. It led to a platinum-selling album and won Khan a Grammy for Best R&B Female Performance. Khan continued to forge a successful career, working with David Bowie and Robert Palmer, and duetting with Steve Winwood on his international smash, Higher Love. In 1985 she enjoyed two Top 20 UK chart entries with This Is My Night and Eye To Eye, while four years later a remix of Im Every Woman reached the Top 10 in the UK. She collaborated with Gladys Knight, Brandy and Tamia on the minor hit single Missing You in 1996, taken from the Queen Latifah movie Set It Off. She formed her own label Earth Song, in 1998, debuting with the Prince-produced Come 2 My House.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.