The life and songs of 10-time GRAMMY Award-winner Chaka Khan are being developed into a major new West End show – ‘I’m Every Woman – The Chaka Khan Musical’.
The project is fully endorsed by Chaka Khan, who will attend a London workshop in November this year.
Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy that includes 22 albums, 25 Billboard magazine charted songs, 7 gold singles, and 10 gold and platinum albums.
‘I’m Every Woman’ depicts Chaka’s life from her time in the Black Panther party to lead singer of the band Rufus, and onto the 10-time Grammy award-winning solo artist, who has tallied up over 100 million albums sold and downloads worldwide with hits such as ‘I Feel For You’, ‘Ain’t Nobody’, ‘This Is My Night’, ‘Through The Fire’ and ‘Eye to Eye’.
‘I’m Every Woman’ is produced by Adrian Grant, whose ‘Thriller Live’ ran for a record-breaking 12 years in the West End, and is being written by screenwriter Tina Andrews (‘Sally Hemings: An American Scandal’, ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love?’), directed by Racky Plews (‘American Idiot’, ‘Footloose’ ‘Josephine Baker’) with Musical Director Ian Oakley (‘The Color Purple’, ‘The Lion King’ (UK Tours).
Chaka, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday and is enjoying her 50th anniversary in the music business, said, “London has a very special place in my heart, and I’m honoured that my life and music will be celebrated on a West End stage. Working with such a talented team, producer Adrian Grant, writer Tina Andrews and director Racky Plews, on my life story is a dream come true.”
Adrian Grant said, “I’m thrilled to be producing a theatrical stage musical about the life of Chaka Khan. She has been an icon across many genres and decades, but I grew up in the 80s, and songs such as ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and ‘I Feel For You’ created an everlasting cultural imprint that will form a part of this show, with electric choreography and vocals that blow the roof off! We have an amazing creative team, and Tina (Andrews) and Chaka, who both hail from Chicago, have formed a great bond during the writing process. There’s a long way to go, but every day I wake up excited with the possibilities that lay ahead!”
‘I’m Every Woman’ will play a pre-West End engagement in Autumn 2024, with further casting and additional creative team members to be announced.
For more information, visit www.imeverywomanmusical.com
Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated musicians, with a rich musical legacy. The 10-time GRAMMY Award-winner is a songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist who has influenced generations of recording artists. She has the rare ability to sing in seven music genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. Affectionately known around the world as Chaka, she is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers for her timeless, classic and unmatched signature music style and ability. The late, great Miles Davis often said, “She [Chaka] sings like my horn.” And the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin says, “[Chaka] is a one- of- a -kind, premier vocalist.”
Throughout her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up 10 #1 Billboard magazine charted songs, 7 RIAA certified gold singles and 10 RIAA certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka’s recorded music has produced over 2,000 catalogue song placements. “I am honoured and blessed to celebrate 50 years in music and entertainment,” says Chaka. “I am so humbled by the love, support, and gracious spirit of my fans worldwide and the continuous support my peers have shown over the years. Throughout my 50-year career, I have been through the fire a few times over and I’m still here as a living testament to God’s love and grace.”
Early on, she caught the attention of music icon Stevie Wonder, who penned her first smash hit with Rufus, ‘Tell Me Something Good’. The single from the group’s 1974 platinum-selling album, ‘Rags to Rufus’, earned Chaka her first GRAMMY Award. With Chaka as the group’s dynamic center, Rufus became one of the most popular acts around selling out shows throughout the country and dominating the airwaves with hit after hit with songs such as ‘You Got the Love,’ which Chaka co-wrote, ‘Once You Get Started’, ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Everlasting Love’, ‘Do You Love What You Feel?’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody’, Chaka’s second GRAMMY Award-winning song with Rufus. Rufus and Chaka Khan racked up five RIAA certified gold and platinum albums during their time together. ‘Once You Get Started’, ‘Sweet Thing’, ‘Everlasting Love’, ‘Do You Love What You Feel?’ and ‘Ain’t Nobody’, Chaka’s second GRAMMY Award-winning song with Rufus. Rufus and Chaka Khan racked up five RIAA certified gold and platinum albums during their time together.
It was inevitable that a singer with Chaka’s star power would eventually venture out on her own. In 1978, Chaka blazed onto the music scene as a solo artist with the release of the smash hit ‘I’m Every Woman’ written by Ashford & Simpson. Paired with the late producer extraordinaire, Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler), her catalogue grew even more impressive with hits such as ‘Clouds’, ‘Papillon’, and ‘What ‘Cha Gonna Do For Me?’. It was during this time that Chaka began pursuing her love of jazz. She and Arif brilliantly re-worked the classic song ‘Night in Tunisia’ with the song’s originator, Dizzy Gillespie, on trumpet. Chaka also recorded an album of jazz standards titled ‘Echoes of an Era’, which featured such luminaries as Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White. Her crowning achievement in jazz was the GRAMMY Award-winning tune, ‘Be Bop Medley’. The song’s album, titled ‘Chaka Khan’, also won a GRAMMY for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
However, the song that made Chaka Khan a household name and propelled her to superstardom the world over was ‘I Feel For You’, written and first performed by Prince. This chart-topping, GRAMMY Award-winning song also made music history. Released in 1984, it was the first R&B song to feature a rap, which was performed by Grandmaster Melle Mel. Chaka also topped the charts with ‘This Is My Night’ and the instant classic, ‘Through The Fire’. Now in top demand, Chaka lent her voice and producer skills to two of the biggest hits of 1986, Steve Winwood’s ‘Higher Love’ and Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’. Both were GRAMMY-winning songs.
In 1995, she made her musical theatre debut on London’s West End, where she starred in ‘Mama I Want to Sing’. In 2002 she travelled to Las Vegas, where she starred in ‘Signed, Sealed Delivered’, a critically-acclaimed musical based on the music of Stevie Wonder. Her Broadway debut came in 2008 when she took over the role of Sofia in Oprah Winfrey’s musical ‘The Color Purple’.
Chaka’s autobiography, ‘Through the Fire’, was published by Rodale Books in 2003.