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Chaka Khan Delivers Tiny Desk Jam Session to Celebrate Black Music Month

Singer performed some of her biggest hits, including “I’m Every Woman” and “Tell Me Something Good”

NPR‘s Tiny Desk series is dedicating the month of June to “giving the ladies their flowers” during Black Music Month. On Tuesday, Tiny Desk hosted music legend Chaka Khan for a full 35-minute performance of her biggest hits.

The 10-time Grammy winner set the energy high with “Tell Me Something Good” before hitting high notes on “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me” and “Stay” in between sips of tea. “It is tiny but it’s nice to be so close together with all of you, I can see not only your eyes but your whole mug piece,” Khan told the NPR crowd with a laugh. “That’s a really nice thing. I really mean that. You’re not just a whole glob of flesh!”

Mid-presentation, Khan flipped the microphone to the crowd as they sang along to “Sweet Thing” while the legend joined in for ad-libs and vocal runs. A trio of vocalists — Audrey Wheeler-Downing, Tiffany Smith, and Trina Broussard — joined Khan along with her full band, who she took a few minutes to introduce during the show. The group included her bassist and musical director Melvin Davis. “I’ve known him a long time,” Khan said of working with Davis through the years.

Khan closed her performance with renditions of the Grammy-winning “Ain’t Nobody” featuring a stellar solo from guitarist Rob Bacon, and “I’m Every Woman,” the track written for her by Ashford & Simpson.

Although Khan has not released any solo music since 2022, she joined Sia and Bianca Costa on “Immortal Queen” from Sia’s Reasonable Woman album last month. She also sings on “Tekken 2” alongside Bombay Bicycle Club and a reimagining of “Ain’t Nobody,” titled “Nobody Khan” with Austin Millz.

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Khan caught up with Rolling Stone last December and opened up about her touring career.

” I got this rich-ass life. I’ve got great-grandchildren I want to get to know better. So I will not do another tour. I’ll do dates, but it won’t look like a tour. They’ll be far enough apart that I can have time to sleep in between,” she said at the time. “I might [retire] three or four times, like other bitches do.”

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