As I was passing London’s legendary Jazz venue Ronnie Scott’s the other night, I asked a man who was playing that night and he replied Chaka Khan. Having possibly noticed my far away look ‘of good times once had on the dance floor’ and feeling he was talking to a Chaka admirer, he tested me saying, ‘if you can name me two of her songs, I’ll put you on her guest list’. It just so happened I was talking to her manager. My favourite dance song: Ain’t Nobody was easy, but I think it was the mention of Love me Still that got me on the guest list to see the Queen of R&B.
Brought up into the ‘middle of madness’ of Chicago’s rough South Side housing projects and subjected to the struggles of alcohol and drugs, Yvette Marie Stephens (as she was christened) literally had to sing her way out of poverty. With a career spanning 4 decades with 10 Grammy’s, (22 nominations), 77 million records sold and twice inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame, she must be one of R&B’s most incredible success stories.
I hope this song touches you as it did me when I heard her sing it that night. Bettye Lavette sings it here in tribute & I wanted to share it with you as she’s so damn good!
This post originally ran on March 31, 2016