Chaka Khan Reveals She Regrets "Nothing" From Her Past: "It Was Part Of My Life Experience"
(Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)

Chaka Khan Reveals She Regrets “Nothing” From Her Past: “It Was Part Of My Life Experience”

Chaka Khan opens up about her musical journey and past drug addiction.

As the renowned vocalist was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, she engaged in a conversation with CBS News, reflecting on her close relationship with Prince, her past battles with addiction, and the resurgence of her music. Khan rose to fame in 1984 as the “I Feel For You” track, a song written by Prince featuring the rapper Melle Mel, quickly climbed the charts. However, it seems that not everyone shared the same enthusiasm for its iconic intro, including Chaka Khan herself.

“I was embarrassed,” she said. “I didn’t like anybody saying my name over, I said, ‘I gotta live with this.'”

By the 1980s, Khan had become a widely recognized figure, and her close bond with Prince continued to flourish. Their collaboration extended to 1998 when he played a pivotal role in co-writing and producing her “Come 2 My House” album.

“We both read the same stuff, and we talked a lot of philosophy. And then we decided we wanted to work together,” Khan added. “We did that whole CD in two weeks’ time. I’d give him the lyrics. And he’d come back the next night to the track. Unbelievable.”

In 2016, Prince tragically passed away due to an accidental drug overdose. When asked if whether she was aware of Prince’s struggles toward the end of his life, Khan said she had “no clue.”

“No, I did not. I knew that he had some breaks – his hip, and his ankles, and all that stuff,” she added. “But, I mean, you know, at one point in my life I was an avid druggie myself. You’d think I could recognize that. But I just didn’t. He was a very giving, loving, open, yet private person. And I just had no clue.”

Khan endured a lengthy battle with drug addiction that spanned several decades. In her 2003 memoir titled “Chaka! Through the Fire,” she candidly revealed, “Whenever I started feeling stuff that I didn’t want to feel, I got high.”

“That was one of the reasons I got high,” Khan said. “I enjoyed it as well, at some point, to some extent. You know, it was part of my life experience.”

When questioned about any regrets from her past, Khan promptly dismissed the idea, indicating that she holds no regrets.

Nevertheless, Khan’s songs continue to inspire and resonate with a fresh generation of listeners and artists. In 2002, following a car accident, Kanye West creatively sampled a sped-up rendition of Chaka Khan’s track “Through the Fire” for his own song titled “Through the Wire.”

“That was a very meaningful song,” she continued. “He called me, and he still had his mouth wired. And after he told me about the horrific accident and all that, I said, ‘Well, of course. I’d be happy to be a part of that.'”

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