Photo: John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA

Chaka Khan Rejected Stevie Wonder Song

When she and her band Rufus were originally offered a Stevie Wonder song, Chaka Khan told the iconic singer/songwriter she didn’t like his composition.

Years ago. when the now 74-year-old Wonder gave the now 71-year old songstress ‘Come and Get This Stuff,’ Khan refused and asked if he had anything else.

In an interview with The Independent, Khan recalled the potential collaboration:

“And I told Stevie, ‘I don’t like it – what else you got?’ “I don’t like your song, what else have you got?”

Admitting that she oft times “upsets people” by speaking her truth, she added:

“I don’t think he ever heard that at all.’ “But I wasn’t thinking about that. I just tell the truth all the time, and I can’t help it. It upsets people sometimes. But hell, if the truth upsets you, I can’t really help that.” 

Not at all offended by her comments, Stevie ultimately offered Chaka and her band ‘Tell Me Something Good’, which ultimately become a Top 5 hit in the United States in 1975.

“Stevie said, ‘What’s your birth sign?’ Aries. ‘Oh, I got the song for you…’ And then he started playing that ‘wakka-wakka’ on the keyboard, and – bam! – there it was,” recalled the legendary chanteuse.

Elsewhere in the interview, this year’s Hall of Fame inductee stated that she never got over the trouble her record label caused when they changed the act’s name from Rufus to Rufus and Chaka Khan, adding that she and her bandmates are still not on proper speaking terms.

“That caused a huge rift in how the band felt about me. I was totally against it and made that very clear. But the label said, ‘Go along with it, or forget it.’ Of course, I had to ride the pony, for everybody’s sake. But it broke my heart, for them to feel… secondary to me. We’d all been equals. But something beautiful died during that second album, Rags to Rufus, and people are still recovering from what happened. I love those guys. But we can’t talk straight like we used to anymore,” stated Chaka Khan.

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Author: Al Denté

Photo: John Mathew Smith & from Laurel Maryland, USA