Chart Performance: Pop (#3) & R&B (#1 for 3 weeks); 1984
Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne
Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi, a name given to Yvette Stevens by an African shaman, coupled with Khan, from a brief marriage to an East Indian bass player, completed Yvette’s transformation into Chaka Khan. After a string of hits with Rufus, Chaka struck out on her own in 1978. Her coming-out song, I’m Every Woman, promptly hit #1 on the R&B chart, yet, it took six more years for Chaka to achieve solo pop success with I Feel For You, a little-known Prince tune from his second album. Stevie Wonder, who’d penned Tell Me Something Good for Chaka and Rufus, laid down a mean harmonica track while, unbeknownst to Chaka, Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash added a stutter rap of her drumbeat-like name. Although Chaka was not pleased with it, party goers loved the preview mix so much that Mel’s rap was moved from the middle section to the intro. The result? Chaka’s signature recording and a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.
This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.
Lyrics Written by:
- “I Feel for You” won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards in 1985