Interview: Chaka Khan

She's every woman and she's everywhere. Chaka Khan has not only released a new album Funk This (September 2007), but she also plans to take the stage in the Broadway production of The Color Purple in January 2008. The legendary recording artist dishes on the inspiration for her CD, her upcoming role and her biggest accomplishment of the year. Yes, ladies and gentleman, she's back to rock us!

What was the inspiration for the CD?

"Life itself has always inspired me to sing. But it was an especially anointing experience because I got with Jam and Lewis." Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a production duo, have created hits for artists like Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, and Usher.

"I got with a great label, Burgundy, via SONY BMG. It was all just the perfect set of circumstances coming up all at the same time... It was all so therapeutic for me. I got my studio legs back on. I couldn't have done it with better people. Terry Lewis is my new hero and guru. He's a wonderful man and we just did wonderful work."

You're coming to Broadway! How do you feel about playing the role that Oprah Winfrey played in the film?

"I think Oprah played the most empowered character in the movie. I'd either be her (Sofia) or Shug—that's it. I liked [Sofia's] part. It suits me well because it's me, it's just so me. It fits my personality perfectly."

Will you continue to do Broadway?

"Not if I can help it [laughs ]. I like to travel. I don't like the act of traveling, but I love change and variety. The play itself is a masterpiece and I'm honored to be involved in that, but I can only do something like that for a certain amount of time."

What's been your best accomplishment this year?

"I've made many great spiritual accomplishments... This last couple of years, I've been clean and sober. That's probably the best accomplishment that's happened."

I feel happiest when...

"I'm finished [laughs]. Whatever it is I'm doing—I'm happiest when I'm done."

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