Legendary singer and now philanthropist Chaka Khan wants to give back more than she receives. In a recent interview with Huffington Post, the “Every Woman” superstar opens up about her recent weight-loss, being a sex symbol, her Chaka Khan Foundation and working on a new album. Check out some of Chaka’s stand out moments from the interview below:
Congratulations on your recent weight loss. What’s your reaction to those speculating that you had surgery?
They can say whatever they want. Only I know what’s really going on. My weight loss had to occur, because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure. And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year. And I ended up going, “Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.” And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here. … [She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.
With you receiving mixed reactions stemming from your weight loss, what are your thoughts on some calling you a sex symbol?
Well, I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat I was a sex symbol. Some men like it that, you know. But I don’t think about that. That’s so far from my mind right now [Laughs].
In less than a month you will be in New Orleans during the Essence Music Festival where your Chaka Khan Foundation will honor 33 local women for their efforts with the SuperLife Transformation Program. What inspired you to get involved with the initiative?
A lot of these women, when I met them a year ago, some of them lived in their cars. The majority of the other women had seen if not one or more members of their family wiped out, gone. So these women were stressed out. I just couldn’t fathom going down to New Orleans to do the Essence Music Festival and not leaving some kind of door opening or something. But what we’re going to do is have testimonials, performances, and a graduation. And once people graduate they will become mentors themselves and pay it forward to the next group of women.
In addition to your philanthropic efforts, you’ve also been working steadily with your music career. Are you currently recording a new album?
Yes, I’ve been working steadily, non-stop. I’m in the studio right now, trying to get a couple of tracks out there for people to hear over the summer. The album won’t be out until next year.
Check out more of the interview here.