Chaka Khan

Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award

Music icon Chaka Khan is legendary for her all-powerful voice, show stopping stage presence and fearless style. The soul singer/songwriter has won 10 Grammys® and countless other awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from both BET and the World Music Awards, as well as the prestigious UNCF Award of Excellence for her outstanding accomplishments in the music industry.  Her albums have received platinum and gold recognition and throughout her career, she has collaborated with artists such as Prince, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Steve Winwood, Michael McDonald, Rod Stewart and Mary J. Blige.

Khan burst onto the music scene in the 1970s as the lead singer in the multi-racial band Rufus.  Early on Khan caught the eye of Stevie Wonder who penned the band’s first hit, “Tell Me Something Good,” which won a Grammy® in 1975 for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus.  Rufus continued to dominate the airwaves with chart toppers such as “Once You Get Started,” “Everlasting Love,” “Do You Love What You Feel?,” “Ain’t Nobody” and “Sweet Thing,” which received the Most Played Song Award in 1995 at the ASCAP Pop Awards.

In 1978, Khan broke out as a solo artist with the smash hit “I’m Every Woman” and had continued success with songs such as “Papillon,” “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me?” and “I Feel For You.” Her music has appeared on a number of movie soundtracks including Clockers, Miami Vice, Bridget Jones’ Diary, 27 Dresses, Deliver Us from Eva and Madea’s Family Reunion.  In 2007, Khan released her 11th studio album; Funk This, which won Grammys® for Best R&B Album and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for her duet with Mary J. Blige on “Disrespectful.” Khan co-headlined the sold-out Here Comes the Girls tour in 2009 with recording artists Anastacia and Lulu. 

She established the Chaka Khan Foundation in 1999 with the mission to educate, inspire and empower children in the Los Angeles community to achieve their full potential by providing academic counsel and programming.  In 2003, she released her autobiography, Chaka! Through the Fire and in 2008 made her Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple.  Khan will receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 19, 2011.

The Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award, named after one of the SHOF’s distinguished founders, is specifically tailored for artists or “star makers” in the music industry who have been responsible for a substantial number of hit songs for an extended period, and who recognize the importance of songs and their writers.  Examples of previous Hitmaker Award recipients include Clive Davis, Garth Brooks, Chuck Berry, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Sir Tom Jones and Phil Ramone.