How Much Is Chaka Khan Worth? – Her Life’s Ups And Downs

Chaka Khan was born in Chicago, and the phrase Queen of Funk Soul has been used to describe her. During her 40-year career, she had won 10 Grammys. Curious to know about how much is Chaka Khan worth? She, whose real name is Yvette Marie Stevens, is estimated to be worth $30 million.

In the late 1970s, she was more and more well-known and reached an all-time high. As the lead singer of her band Rufus and the center of attention, she was very well liked. The powerful R&B and funk sound of her band was well-known.

Early Life

On March 23, 1953, she was given the name Yvette Marie Stevens at birth. She was brought up in Chicago, Illinois, in a creative and bohemian environment by her parents. Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman welcomed a total of five children into the world, and she is the oldest of the five.

Photo credit: BET

At an early period in her life, Chaka Khan had an interest in rhythm and blues music, and at the age of eleven, she founded a girl group called The Crystalettes. 

Khan, while still a teenager, participated in a number of civil rights marches and, in 1967, after developing a friendship with the activist and fellow Chicagoan Fred Hampton, joined the Black Panther Party.

A Yoruba Baba bestowed the name Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi upon the young woman when she was 13 years old.

In 1969, Khan quit the Black Panthers and did not continue her education after dropping out of high school. She began her career by playing in acoustic bands in and around the Chicago region.

Music Career: 

Big Hits With Rufus


After playing with a few other bands in the early 1970s, Khan became a member of the band Rufus, which was known for its R&B and funk influences in its music. When the band published their self-titled first album in 1973, Khan’s powerful vocals were introduced to the world for the first time. The record produced some moderately successful singles, including Whoever’s Thrilling You and Feel Good.

Rags to Rufus

The follow-up album, released in 1974 and titled Rags to Rufus was a commercial and critical triumph. Over a million copies of the band’s smash single Tell Me Something Good were sold, and Stevie Wonder was the songwriter behind the song. 

In addition to that, the group was awarded a Grammy for the Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus for their performance of the song.

Sweet Thing

In the years that followed, Rufus, who later became known as Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and later as Rufus & Chaka Khan, was successful in producing a number of hit singles. The upbeat song Once You Get Started by the band became a Top 10 pop smash, and Khan worked with the band on the track Sweet Thing, which topped the R&B charts and was also a top 5 pop hit. Both of these songs were produced by the band. 

Later singles included the melancholy ballad Hollywood, which was about the difficulties associated with living in a famous location, as well as the lively Do You Love What You Feel and the straightforward Am not Nobody.

Solo Albums And Songs

I’m Every Woman

After recording with Rufus from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, Khan made her debut as a solo artist in the late 1970s. Her first studio album, Chaka, was released in 1978 and featured the number one R&B smash and women’s liberation anthem I’m Every Woman. The song was written by Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

The year 1980 saw the release of Khan’s second solo album, titled Naughty, which featured the smash singles Clouds, which was also written by Ashford and Simpson. In 1983, she was awarded three Grammys – two as a solo artist and one as a member of Rufus

Photo credit: Gettyimages

Through The Fire

Chaka’s success as a solo performer, on the other hand, came the next year. Covering Prince’s I Feel for You, which ultimately became a top 5 hit, was the song that sent her to the top of the charts. The addictive track contained one of the most famous rap appearances in the history of the genre, and it had elements of rap, R&B, and electronic dance music. Melle Mel provided one of the cameos. 

In addition to that, Khan was awarded a Grammy for this work in the year 1984. The songs This Is My Night and Through the Fire were also big hits from the album.

The Woman I Am

Khan has continued to produce music that is praised by music critics despite the fact that her record sales have declined as a direct result of shifting musical fashions. She received another Grammy nomination in 1990 for her duet with Ray Charles on the song I will Be Good to You, which was featured on Quincy Jones’ album Back on the Block from 1989. 

She received yet another nomination in 1992 for the album The Woman I Am. In addition to that, Khan was well-known for the contributions she made to the soundtracks of the films Clockers and Waiting to Exhale, both of which were released in 1995. 

In the later part of the decade, specifically in the year 1998, she recorded the hit album Come 2 My House, which was produced by Prince.


In 2002, Chaka Khan and the Funk Brothers collaborated on a rendition of Marvin Gaye’s song What is Going On, for which they were awarded Chaka Khan’s seventh Grammy. 

She released ClassiKhan in 2004, which was an album of standards with the London Symphony Orchestra. She had been experimenting with a variety of musical styles prior to this release.

Funk This

Khan went into the studio for the first time in a number of years to record the songs and guests that would later comprise her album titled Funk This in 2007. Both the ballad Angel and the uptempo Disrespectful include Khan and one of her musical protégées, Mary J. Blige. Angel was inspired by a poem she penned while high, while Disrespectful featured Khan and Blige. 

In addition to that, she worked on the cover of the Doobie Brothers song You Belong to Me with Michael McDonald, a former member of the band. She also included a few more covers on the album, some of which were songs originally performed by artists, such as Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell.

Hello Happiness

Chaka Khan made her comeback to the music industry in 2016 with the release of the single I Love Myself. Proceeds from the single were donated to the anti-bullying group STOMP Out Bullying as well as the domestic abuse organization Face Forward. 

In addition to that, she worked together with two of her siblings on the dance single House of Love that was released by FOMO that same year. 

Khan released the song Like Sugar in 2018, and it served as the first single off her forthcoming album, Hello Happiness, which is scheduled for release in 2019.

Personal Life and Rehab

Chaka Khan, who had two marriages that both ended in divorce, welcomed his first child, Milini, in 1973, and his second child, Damien, in 1979. In the latter half of the 1990s, she established the Chaka Khan Foundation, an organization that offers educational programs to disadvantaged children and aid to low-income families dealing with autistic members of their household.

A personal tragedy befell Khan in the year 2004, when Damien was taken into custody and charged with murder. When Damien accidently shot the other man, he was in the middle of a quarrel with a friend who lived in her house. Khan appeared in court and testified in defense of her son, galvanizing the support of her family in the process. In 2006, a judge ruled that he was innocent of the charges.

As a direct result of Prince’s death from an overdose, Khan declared in July 2016 that she and her sister Yvonne, also known as Taka Boom, would be checking themselves into a treatment facility for addiction to prescription drugs. Khan stated in an official statement – “the unfortunate loss of Prince has prompted us to reflect and reevaluate our lives and goals.” Prince’s death occurred on April 21, 2016. 


Grammy Awards

  • 2008 Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group
  • 2008 Best R&B Album
  • 2003 Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance
  • 1993 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
  • 1991 Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals
  • 1991 Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal(s)
  • 1985 Best Rhythm & Blues Song
  • 1985 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
  • 1984 Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal
  • 1984 Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female
  • 1984 Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voice
  • 1975 Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus

American Music Award Nominations

  • 1985 Favorite Female Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues 
  • 1985 Favorite Female Video Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues 
  • 1982 Favorite Female Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues 
  • 1981 Favorite Female Artist – Soul/Rhythm & Blues 

Soul Train Awards

  • 1998 Lena Horne Award – Recipient of Career Achievement award
  • 2009 Legends Award – Recipient of Career Achievement award

United Negro College Fund Award

  • 2011 UNCF – Recipient of Award of Excellence

Quotable Quotes From Chaka Khan

“I would have been an archaeologist or something, maybe a historian. There are a lot of things I would have liked to have done differently, but everything that happened to me made me the person I am today. No matter how negative it seemed at the time or whatever hardship it seemed to have been at that time, I’m just the sum of all those amazing experiences.”
– Chaka Khan 

“A song is not going to change this damn world. Instead of making people mad about this shitty situation, it’s going to make everybody happy. It’s a false thing. It’s like a lullaby as opposed to a gun. People need to be slapped into reality and music just doesn’t do that.”
– Chaka Khan 

“I control my life and I have never let success run away with me – I’ve taken it and ran. And the only thing that could threaten my stability is me – I’m my only threat and my own worst enemy. Beyond that, I don’t feel successful. I’m nowhere near where I plan to be as far as my goals.”
– Chaka Khan 

“America breeds ambition and while that can be a good thing, sometimes it’s not. Ambition also breeds competition and that can be a very bad thing. People become chronically preoccupied with competing and don’t know when to stop. It can become unhealthy.”
– Chaka Khan 

“You’ve just got to follow your own path. You have to trust your heart and you have to listen to the warnings. … You can’t argue with the universe. It’s not about that. It’s more about relaxing and knowing that you can handle it and feel empowered. Knowing you have the power to do whatever the hell you want to do. That’s what it’s about. It really is.”
– Chaka Khan 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Chaka Khan’s age?

The date of Chaka Khan’s birth is March 23, 1953, which makes her age 69 at this point.

What is Chaka Khan’s height?

The height of Chaka Khan is 1.62 meters, which is equivalent to 5 feet 4 inches.

How many Grammys does Chaka Khan have in her collection?

To this day, Chaka Khan has been awarded a total of ten Grammys, including two for her work with her former band Rufus.

Final Words

Throughout the entirety of the 1980s and into the early 1990s, Chaka Khan established herself as a consistent presence on the R&B charts. She is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished female jazz and soul artists in the world. She has a large discography and has moved many millions of copies of her albums and other music.

It is anticipated that Chaka Khan will have a net worth of approximately $30 Million as of the month of September 2023.

And she will continue to reign supreme as the Queen of Funk forever.