Chaka Khan with special guest Sheila E.
Chaka Khan with special guest Sheila E. live at AVA Amphitheater
Tickets on-sale now
About Chaka Khan:
Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur
Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated music icons. A singer, songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka has influenced generations of music creators during her four decades as an artist. A ten-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has the rare ability to sing in a number of musical genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. She is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers for her timeless, unmatched vocal style and image. The late, great Miles Davis noted that Chaka “sings like my horn.” And none other than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has said that Chaka “is a one-of-a-kind, premier vocalist.”
During her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up ten Number One songs on the Billboard charts, seven RIAA-certified gold singles and ten RIA-certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka’s recordings have resulted in more than 2,000 catalog song placements.
“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,” says Chaka. “Throughout my 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.”
Still at the height of her astounding vocal powers, Chaka Khan is creating new projects and earning new honors. Her latest single “Like Sugar” has earned high marks from tastemakers; the track is from her brand-new album-length project Hello Happiness, due in the first quarter of 2019. In addition, Chaka is making history once again, as she has been named Grand Marshal of the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade, making her not only the first African American Grand Marshal in the traditional New Year’s Day celebration’s 130-year history, but the first Grand Marshal to perform during the parade.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Chaka began singing in local groups as a teen before being invited to join the group Rufus. Her fiery vocals on the group’s debut album 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 lead singer, Rufus was soon selling out shows across the country and dominating the airwaves with such hits as “You Got the Love” “Once You Get Started,” “Sweet Thing,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel?” and “Ain’t Nobody,” which earned a second GRAMMY® Award for the group. Together, Rufus and Chaka Khan racked up five RIAA-certified gold and platinum albums.
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. This enduring and iconic hit has been re-recorded numerous times, inspired by Chaka’s incredible original performance. Continuing her work with the late mega-producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler), her catalog grew with such hits 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 Mardin brilliantly re-worked the classic “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 jazz luminaries Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and Lenny White. Her crowning achievement in jazz was the GRAMMY® Award-winning tune “Be Bop Medley” from the 1983 album Chaka Khan, which also won a GRAMMY® for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
In 1984 Chaka Khan was catapulted to global superstardom with the release of her smash hit “I Feel For You.” Originally written and first performed by Prince, this chart-topping, GRAMMY® -winning recording also made history as 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.”
Chaka’s vocal intensity, soulfulness, and ability to work within different genres made artists in pop and rock take notice. Chaka lent her voice and production skills to two of the biggest hits of 1986, Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” and Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love.” Both eventually earned GRAMMY® Awards. She has since worked with a who’s who of artists, including Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Steve Winwood, Mary J. Blige, George Benson, Larry Graham, the London Symphony Orchestra and countless others, earning awards and accolades along the way. Her 2007 album project Funk This!, featuring collaborations with former bandmate Tony Maiden, Michael McDonald, and Mary J. Blige, earned two GRAMMY® Awards for “Disrespectful” with Mary J. Blige and the album as a whole.
Other Noted Achievements
Chaka Khan has received a steady stream of accolades for both her artistry and philanthropy. Her awards include the Soul Train Legend Award (2009), the BET Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), the GRAMMY® Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter (2006) and the World Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award (2003). Previously nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame four times – twice as a solo artist and twice with Rufus – she has been nominated again as a 2019 inductee candidate.
In 2011, Chaka received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was honored with the United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars Tribute with performances by Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Ledisi, El Debarge, Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Chaka’s brother Mark Stevens, and her daughter, Indira Khan, among others. In June 2012, she was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, alongside such music greats as Frank Sinatra, Liza Minnelli, Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, and others. In 2013, the City of Chicago honored her by designating July 28, 2013, as “Chaka Khan Day” and naming the street of her high school alma mater “Chaka Khan Way” after her.
Chaka shared her life’s recollections in the autobiography Through the Fire, was published by Rodale Books in 2003 and is currently being adapted into a screenplay. In 2004, Chaka received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. She has also performed in musical theater, debuting on London’s West End in “Mama I Want to Sing” in 1995; appearing in the Las Vegas production of “Signed, Sealed Delivered” in 2002; and taking over the role of Sofia in Broadway’s adaptation of “The Color Purple” in 2008.
Despite her busy schedule, Chaka has always made time to support and uplift her community. In 1999, inspired by her autistic nephew, Chaka established the Chaka Khan Foundation to raise awareness, provide resources, and explore treatments for children with autism in underserved communities. She later expanded the mission of the foundation to focus on women and children at risk. In July 2012, Chaka received the McDonald’s Corporation’s 365Black Award for her leadership of the Chaka Khan Foundation. The organization raised $1.4 million for autism awareness and research and, on behalf of the autism community, Chaka lobbied on Capitol Hill meeting with the Black and Hispanic Caucuses’ to reauthor the Combating Autism Act of 2006. As a result, the act was renewed and is slated to provide more than $3 billion for autism research and other services by 2019.
Chaka Khan is also an entrepreneur. In 2019 she will be gearing up to launch in collaboration with her long-term hair stylist and creative director, turned manager, George Robert Fuller, a full collection of Chaka Khan inspired wigs and hair pieces for the everyday, modern female consumer, powered by Indique Hair. Chaka’s latest body of work, Hello Happiness, a 7-track album executive produced by English production powerhouse Switch, was released on February 15th, 2019 under Diary Records/Island Records. The 10-time GRAMMY® Award-winner is looking forward to a celebration of a lifetime this year and beyond!
About Sheila E.
One of life’s constants for Sheila E. comes down to a simple phrase: follow the beat. And her impeccable inner rhythm is the pulse behind a trailblazing career that still knows no bounds.
Family, faith and music were guiding forces for Sheila E. growing up in the Bay Area. In addition to percussionist dad Pete, the Oakland, Calif. native counts former Santana member/Azteca founder Coke Escovedo and The Dragons front man Mario Escovedo as uncles. Fellow Latin star Tito Puente was her godfather. In addition to being weaned on Latin jazz and Motown, Sheila E. was exposed to a diverse array of Bay Area acts. Those influences ranged from the rock of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to the R&B/pop of the Pointer Sisters and the funk of Sly & the Family Stone. “I used to sit on the corner outside of the local community center with Twinkies and 7-Up listening to Sly and Larry Graham rehearse,” remembers Sheila E. “The sounds of the Bay Area molded me.”
So it’s no surprise that after such a music-immersive childhood, the gifted, world-class drummer and percussionist began amassing an impressive string of credits playing not only with her dad but also with pioneering talents like George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Prince, Ringo Starr, Gloria Estefan, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter behind the seminal hits “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre.” A fearless multi-instrumentalist equally proficient on guitar and bass. Actress. Mentor. Philanthropist.
Following a Bay Area gig in the late ‘70s, Sheila E. met Prince backstage. Their Purple Rain recording sessions—including her vocals on the 1984 classic “Erotic City”—morphed into launching her solo career that same year. Debut album The Glamorous Life spun off the Grammy Award-nominated top 10 hit of the same name plus a second top 40 single “The Belle of St. Mark.” Between her ‘80s tenure as drummer, songwriter and musical director for Prince’s backup band, Sheila E. released two more solo albums (Romance 1600 and Shelia E.) and scored another classic hit with “A Love Bizarre.”
Sheila E.’s fierce, dynamic verve onstage has made her a major concert draw since the ‘90s. Along the way, she has acted in several films (“Krush Groove,” “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane,” “Chasing Papi”) and launched various music projects (C.O.E.D., E Family Band). She added to her arsenal of credits performing on the 2012 Academy Awards with pop hitmaker Pharrell Williams and composer Hans Zimmer. Sheila E. was also among the roster of stars chosen to perform at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors whose honorees included artists Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and Carlos Santana.
Sheila E.'s producing, arranging, and performance talents have been showcased throughout the music and film industry with appearances on, The Academy Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, BET Awards, The American Music Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, The Summer Olympics, WOW Awards, ALMA's, and The Image Awards just to name a few. In 2010 Sheila was nominated for an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Music Direction” in recognition for her leadership as musical director for President Obama’s Performance at The White House: Fiesta Latina. Other projects, include The E Family Now and Forever, Pete Escovedo Live at Stern Grove Festival with her father Pete Escovedo, and brothers Juan and Peter Michael Escovedo, Sheila E. Live from Lugano Switzerland DVD, Silk Road from the group Heavenese hailing from Japan, a literary biography released by Simon & Schuster Publishing Titled The Beat of My Own Drum, ICON Sheila's 2014 solo album and the single release Girl Meets Boy in memory of the late, great, Prince.
Away from the spotlight, music doubles as a source of healing and giving back for Sheila E. And that was part of the inspiration for penning the autobiography “The Beat of My Own Drum.” Playing a perceived male instrument and working in a male dominated industry exacted a personal price—several years ago Sheila E. publicly acknowledged she was an abuse survivor.“The book was the beginning of the healing,” says Sheila E. “I’d talked about working in a male-dominated industry in my ministry and addressed it in some of the song lyrics I’d written. But it was challenging to sit down and write about it in detail for the book. No one in my household told me I couldn’t play drums because I was a girl. It wasn’t until I was outside of the house and playing sessions. But through pain comes realization, understanding and the opportunity to help others overcome those challenges.”
Sheila E. continues to produce and perform music throughout the world. Her current studio project and tour, ICONIC, is Sheila's continued contribution to the music industry and her efforts in awareness to social issues and humanitarianism. Sheila E. is CEO of the entertainment company StilettoFlats Inc. located in Los Angeles California.
With no Google or YouTube artist script to follow back then, she says her career drive was propelled by one thing: “I just did it because I loved it. And that’s what Icon represents. I started all this as Sheila Escovedo then became this persona named Sheila E. Now Sheila E. and Sheila Escovedo are the same person, still making music that comes from the heart.”