With a career that spans nearly 50 years, Chaka Khan is a legend. Her songs are classics that have been covered by some of the greats and she’s worked with just about every music icon in her generation that one can think of. The 66-year-old singer is still taking to stages across the globe and belting out fan favorites, but she took a moment to visit with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live. Cohen pegged Khan with questions about her lengthy career and let’s just say that she wasn’t shy about giving her opinion.
“I don’t know if it showed, but he was a lonely person,” she said of late artist Prince. The singer also stated that they were like brother and sister, but in the last “year or so” of his life, they really didn’t keep in touch. “I was surprised there was anything…I knew that he broke his knees and broke his ankles and carrying on. We were on tour together when it happened. I wasn’t aware there was anything else going on, and that was hard for me not to detect.”
“A song is a free agent,” she said of Whitney Houston covering her hit “I’m Every Woman.” “If you can rock the song, rock it. If you can’t, you need to leave it alone.” She added that she didn’t make money off that cover because it was written by Ashford & Simpson, but she did rake in the dough when Mary J. Blige did “Sweet Thing” because she penned that one. However, things took a turn when Ms. Khan was asked to share her thoughts about Kanye West sampling her song “Through the Fire” for his hit track, “Through the Wire.”
She said they talked about it before he began production, but their talk was “very [different] than the song turned out, obviously.” She also stated that she wasn’t happy with the end result at all. “He called me when he just got out of the hospital. He said, ‘You were so instrumental in my healing process. I changed the words a little bit to the song but I had to eat through a wire. Jaws wired shut through a straw.’ It meant that much to me. It really got my heart, tugged at my string. I was like, yeah, use it.”
“Then when it came out, [she mocks the high-pitched chorus]. I was pissed,” she said. “It was a little insulting. Not insulting, I thought it was stupid! If I’d known he was gonna do that, I would have said, ‘Hell no.'” She admitted that she never told him that she didn’t like “Through the Wire,” but she believes her silence toward him has said enough. Yikes.