Although Chaka Khan took a brief hiatus last month to rest her vocal cords, she has announced that she is prepared to start performing again.
In honor of 40 years in the entertainment industry, Chaka is heading to her hometown of Chicago for a performance this weekend. During the homecoming she will be receiving her own street, Chaka Khan Way. Among other celebratory events, she will also be releasing a commemorative limited edition CD titled The iKhan Project.
The music icon, who was honored for her stellar 40-year career in music and entertainment, participated in the ceremonial unveiling of Chaka Khan Way on S. Blackstone Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets, with her family, including her mother Sandra Coleman, her sister, Tammy McCrary, and a host of other relatives in the Chicago area. Several city officials, business executives and community leaders were among the participants, including Fourth Ward Alderman William Burns, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Father Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic School, State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Representatives Christian Mitchell and Barbara Flynn Currie, and Carl McKenzie, a cultural event producer and the president of Artworks Chicago. McKenzie organized the weekend-long celebration, which was co-sponsored by MINI USA. Chaka Khan Way is located on the west side of Kenwood Academy, where Chaka attended high school during its early days of operation. The students of Kenwood Academy also had the opportunity to participate in the event.
“This is the biggest honor I have ever received in my life,” says Chaka. “The people of Chicago have always loved me and have supported me throughout my career—through thick and thin. To have a street named after you in the third largest city in the country is a big deal. To think that people will say ‘make a right or left turn on Chaka Khan Way’ is mind blowing. Long after I’m gone, and my children and grandchildren are gone, the street named Chaka Khan Way will still be here to carry on my legacy in the city where it all started for me. I never would have imagined that I would have been granted this honor. I thank all the city officials responsible for making this happening—and I especially thank Carl McKenzie, who vigorously campaigned and almost single-handedly made this event a reality. My family and I thank God for this blessing.”
In a Huffington Post interview she also announced that she would be boycotting Florida in order to take a stance against the ruling in the George Zimmerman trial.
“Well I am boycotting Florida. I had a booking there last week and I cancelled it. But if any tribute comes up I’ll do it. Absolutely,” Chaka said referring to a tribute for slain teenager Trayvon Martin.