Chaka Khan, also known as the “Queen of Funk,” has had a career spanning over five decades and has become a music icon in the R&B, funk, and soul genres. Known for her powerful and soulful voice, Chaka Khan has had numerous hits throughout her career. This list features her Top 10 Best songs of all time.
At number one is her iconic hit “Ain’t Nobody,” which became a chart-topping success in 1983 and is still a popular dancefloor classic today. “I Feel for You” is another hit song from the same year that features a rap verse from Grandmaster Melle Mel and was a crossover success, reaching both pop and R&B charts.
Chaka Khan’s cover of Prince’s “I Feel for You” is also included in this list, showcasing her ability to take on new songs and make them her own. “Through the Fire” is another hit that highlights her strong vocals and emotional range, while “Tell Me Something Good” shows off her funkier side.
Other notable songs in the list include “Like Sugar,” a newer track that still features her classic sound, and “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me,” a powerful anthem that became a hit for both Chaka Khan and the group Rufus.
Overall, this list showcases Chaka Khan’s incredible talent and lasting impact on music. Her songs continue to inspire and entertain fans around the world, solidifying her as a true music legend.
1. “Ain’t Nobody”
“Ain’t Nobody” is a funky and upbeat track that showcases the singer’s powerful vocals and impressive range. Released in 1983, the song features a memorable synth riff and infectious groove that make it a dancefloor classic. The lyrics tell the story of a person who has finally found true love and how it has changed their life. The chorus, which repeats the phrase “ain’t nobody” several times, has become one of the most recognizable hooks in music history. Chaka Khan’s delivery is passionate and soulful, bringing a raw energy to the song that has kept it popular for decades. “Ain’t Nobody” was a commercial and critical success, reaching the top of the R&B charts and earning Chaka Khan a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. It has since been covered and sampled by numerous artists and remains one of Chaka Khan’s most beloved and iconic songs.
2. “Like Sugar”
“Like Sugar” is an upbeat, disco-infused dance track by American singer Chaka Khan. Released in 2018, it serves as the lead single from her fourteenth studio album, “Hello Happiness”. The song features a funky bassline, lively guitar riffs, and a pulsating beat that are guaranteed to get listeners on their feet. Chaka Khan’s powerful vocals are on full display as she delivers lyrics that celebrate self-love, empowerment, and positivity. The catchy chorus, which repeats the phrase “Like sugar” multiple times, adds to the song’s infectious nature. “Like Sugar” was a critical and commercial success, receiving praise for its throwback sound and modern production. The song’s music video features Chaka Khan dancing and performing against a colorful, animated backdrop that perfectly captures the track’s energetic vibe. “Like Sugar” serves as a testament to Chaka Khan’s incredible talent and ability to remain relevant in the ever-changing music industry.
3. “I Feel for You”
“I Feel for You” is a song originally written and performed by Prince, but Chaka Khan’s version became the most popular and successful. Released in 1984, it was a huge hit for Khan, reaching the top 10 on both the US and UK charts. The song features a funky and catchy melody, with a mix of R&B, pop, and hip hop elements. It also includes a rap verse by Melle Mel, which was one of the earliest instances of rap music breaking into mainstream pop.
Khan’s powerful and soulful vocals are a standout in the song, particularly in the chorus where she belts out the catchy “Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan” hook. The use of synthesizers and electronic drum beats give the song a modern feel that was ahead of its time. The music video for “I Feel for You” was also innovative, featuring Khan dancing in front of a neon background with various special effects added. The song has since become a classic and is often cited as one of the greatest R&B songs of all time.
4. “Never Miss the Water”
“Never Miss the Water” is a powerful ballad by Chaka Khan featuring Me’Shell NdegéOcello. The song was released in 1996 as a single from the album “Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Volume One.” The track is a stunning collaboration between two of the most influential female artists in the music industry. The song features a soulful and jazzy production, showcasing Chaka Khan’s powerful vocals and Me’Shell’s stunning bass playing. The lyrics explore the themes of love, loss, and regret, with Chaka’s emotive delivery conveying the deep emotional weight of the song’s message. The chorus is particularly moving, with Chaka and Me’Shell delivering powerful harmonies that will give you goosebumps. “Never Miss the Water” is a testament to Chaka Khan’s incredible vocal ability and the song’s enduring appeal, continuing to be a fan favorite to this day.
5. “Tell Me Something Good”
“Tell Me Something Good” is a funk and soul classic by Chaka Khan, released in 1974. The song was written by Stevie Wonder and was covered by Khan’s band, Rufus. It became their breakthrough hit, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning them a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The song is famous for its catchy guitar riff and funky bassline, which drives the groove throughout the track. Khan’s powerful vocals deliver the lyrics with sass and attitude, making this a classic feel-good song that still gets people dancing today. The track has been covered by several artists and has been featured in various movies and TV shows over the years, cementing its place as a timeless classic.
6. “I’m Every Woman”
“I’m Every Woman” is a hit song by Chaka Khan from her 1978 debut solo album. The song, written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson, was an anthem for women’s empowerment and became a classic dance floor filler. The funky bassline and upbeat tempo, along with Khan’s powerful vocals, made it an instant hit. The song was covered by Whitney Houston in 1992 for the soundtrack of “The Bodyguard” and became another huge success. Khan’s version has been sampled and remixed numerous times in popular culture, cementing its status as a timeless classic.
7. “Through the Fire”
“Through the Fire” is a classic 80s R&B/soul hit by Chaka Khan, which was released in 1984. The song is known for its powerful vocals and upbeat rhythm, with a memorable chorus that has made it a fan favorite. It was written by Khan, David Foster, and Cynthia Weil and produced by Foster. The lyrics describe the challenges and struggles of love and relationships, with the metaphor of going “through the fire” to reach a deeper connection. The song has been covered by various artists, and has been sampled in several hip-hop and R&B songs over the years. It was also featured in the soundtrack of the movie “The Last Dragon.” Khan’s vocals on the track have been praised for their soulful delivery and emotional depth, cementing her status as one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. “Through the Fire” remains one of Chaka Khan’s most beloved and recognizable songs, and continues to be a staple in R&B and soul playlists.
8. “Love Me Still”
“Love Me Still” is a soulful ballad by Chaka Khan, featuring vocals by Bruce Hornsby. The song was released in 1993 and is known for its haunting melody and deeply emotional lyrics. The track is part of the soundtrack for the romantic comedy-drama film “The Bodyguard” starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The song is a perfect showcase for Chaka Khan’s rich and powerful voice, and she delivers a heartfelt performance that is both vulnerable and powerful. The lyrics talk about the complexities of love and the challenges that come with it, but ultimately, the message is one of hope and a plea for love to endure. The collaboration with Bruce Hornsby adds a unique dimension to the song, with his distinct piano playing complementing Chaka’s vocals perfectly. “Love Me Still” is a standout track in Chaka Khan’s discography, and it showcases her range and versatility as a performer.
9. “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me”
“What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me” is a funky, upbeat track by Chaka Khan that was released in 1981 as the title track of her third solo album. The song opens with a catchy bassline and guitar riff, setting the tone for a high-energy groove that continues throughout the track. Chaka’s powerful vocals are on full display as she sings about the challenges and expectations of life and love, asking the question “what cha’ gonna do for me?” The song features a memorable horn section and a lively instrumental break that showcases the talents of the musicians backing Chaka. “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me” was a commercial success, reaching the top 40 on the US R&B charts and becoming a signature song for Chaka Khan. The song has also been covered by several other artists over the years, solidifying its place as a funk classic.
10. “I Know You, I Live You”
“I Know You, I Live You” is a song by Chaka Khan, released in 1981 from her third studio album “What Cha’ Gonna Do for Me.” The track was written by Khan and Arif Mardin and features a mix of soul, R&B, and funk music. The song has a memorable bassline and catchy chorus, showcasing Khan’s powerful vocals and impressive range. The lyrics express a deep connection and appreciation for someone in Khan’s life, emphasizing their bond and the joy they bring to each other. “I Know You, I Live You” was a commercial success, reaching the top ten on the Billboard R&B chart and becoming a fan favorite in Khan’s discography. The song has been covered and sampled by various artists in the decades since its release, including by Mary J. Blige and Kanye West. Overall, “I Know You, I Live You” remains a standout track in Chaka Khan’s career and a testament to her talent as a vocalist and songwriter.