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Rufus & Chaka Khan

One of the most commercially successful funk groups of the '70s, the multi-racial Rufus are today best remembered for launching the career of soul diva Chaka Khan, whose fiery lead vocals were easily the band's focal point. Powered by Khan -- who was eventually billed in addition to the group -- and an unerring sense of groove, Rufus scored an impressive string of hit singles on both the pop and R&B charts, which lasted through the '70s and up to Khan's official departure in 1983.

Rufus grew out of the Chicago band the American Breed, which had a hit in 1968 with the oldies-radio staple "Bend Me, Shape Me." Guitarist Al Ciner, bassist Chuck Colbert, drummer Lee Graziano, and keyboardist Kevin Murphy had all played in the band at one time or another before forming a new group, originally called Smoke, with vocalists Paulette McWilliams and James Stella. Stella was quickly replaced by lead vocalist/songwriter/keyboardist Ron Stockert, and Colbert by bassist Dennis Belfield; the group changed its name to Ask Rufus, which was later shortened to Rufus. In 1972, drummer Andre Fischer -- another former American Breed member -- replaced Graziano, and a young female vocalist named Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens) replaced McWilliams. Although Khan's dynamic stage presence helped this version of the band take off, Stockert was still the guiding force when they signed with ABC in 1973, and he lent a more pop/rock flavor to the group's self-titled debut, released later that year.

Although the album sold poorly, Rufus gained a fan in Stevie Wonder thanks to their cover of his "Maybe Your Baby." Wonder gave them a new composition, the slowly grinding "Tell Me Something Good," that he'd written specifically with Khan's vocal style in mind. Pulled as a single from their second album, 1974's Rags to Rufus, "Tell Me Something Good" was a Top Five smash that turned Khan into a star; she also co-wrote the R&B chart-topping follow-up, "You Got the Love." Clearly, the band had found its niche, and a number of personnel shifts ensued: Stockert left, Belfield was replaced by Bobby Watson, and Ciner was replaced by Tony Maiden. Their funk sensibility thus bolstered, Rufus returned with a strong new album before year's end, Rufusized, which spawned two more hits in "Once You Get Started" and "Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me of a Friend)." The billing on 1975's Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan made the singer's star power official, and produced one of the group's biggest hits in the R&B number one "Sweet Thing." Dave "Hawk" Wolinski joined as a second keyboardist for 1977's mellower Ask Rufus (the hit was "At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)"), and William "Moon" Calhoun replaced drummer Fischer on 1978's Street Player.

Following the release of Street Player, Khan made what was perhaps an inevitable move into solo recording with the release of her debut, Chaka; despite scoring a significant hit with "I'm Every Woman," she remained an official member of Rufus. Still, the band's next album, Numbers, was recorded without her, and upon its release in 1979, it stiffed. Khan was back on board later that year for Masterjam, produced by Quincy Jones, and the band (featuring new drummer John "J.R." Robinson) was back on top of the R&B charts with "Do You Love What You Feel." However, Khan split again for 1980's Party 'Til You're Broke, and although she returned for 1981's Camouflage, Rufus' chart fortunes were slipping away. The George Duke-produced, Khan-less Seal in Red bombed, but Khan returned for one last go-round on 1983's Stompin' at the Savoy, a double-record set featuring three sides of live material and one side of new studio recordings. One of those new songs, "Ain't Nobody," became Rufus' final number one R&B hit, and also won a Grammy, allowing the group to end its career on a high note. Her contract up, Khan finally left for good afterwards and became a superstar thanks to a cover of Prince's "I Feel for You." ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Memories...
You have both be happy
Brings back memories. The Chinatown dances
mip1111111
Luv Chaka Khan... ����
Sing it girl!!!!
nancyweissbe i n
Sweet thing, they don't make music like this anymore.
Doesnt get old!!!!
Mmmm sang this song day nite
Sweet,sweet, thing love me now or ill go crazy, ¿? ####### !¡ )
S**t.... Bout to get my boogaloo shrimp going!!! Chaka is the truth, and the Biz!!!
I love old school song
Happy birthday to my self ��
sakitamcdona l d
I love me some Chaka Khan. She is still so talented and beautiful.
Chaka was the best in her young day's. she still hot........m
19sandy62
I want to dance all night. ..



Ms.Chaka Kahn, she is like wine better and better with time, one of timeless, O.G.
The little princess of soul.
nothing like the original.... y o u r not mine can't deny it
I SAW CHANKA KHAN AND SHOOK HER HAND AT OUR BACK TO SCHOOL PARADE IN CHICAGO WELCOME BACK MS. HYDE PARK I LOVE U SMILE...
L3t$ d@nc3 !!
Chaka Khan killed this MaryJBlige tried Chaos Khan...Origi n a l Diva!
And she still having it going on.......... .
Chaka khan can,,, wepa,,,
Ms. Chaka Khan, what can I say? Can sang and fine as HELL........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Truth in a understateme n t period ..........D. . . . . . . . . . . . M a s t e r
You the truth Chaka love you
Chaka Khan got a very excellent classic love
Timeless still going strong Chaka Khan classic love you
HollyWOOD... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .














randyduncan7
Tell me something good made my summer as a freshman in high school
Me and my wife ...love your music....... . s w e e t
OG SOUL I ♥ CHAKA WATTS E/S UP BABY 103RD ST. THE PURPLE PEOPLES
〰 ❤ 〰
lavendertodd 2
Yes
Ask Rufus. ....my GOD i love this album to death. ...big thanks to my cousin Mike and my uncle Leon. ..wore the grooves out on that boy LOL
AWESOME!!!!
MY GIRL, MY GIRL MY GIRL!!!!!!!
baby doll
Love song
I had all of Rufus' albums and would sing the songs with my friends during my nursing classes. LOL! Love Bobby Womack's version too.
Soul
❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥❇♥
Wonderful that's all I can ssy
bobbyconrad
Chaka Chaka Khan
Sheis aqueen
This is my jam
You go
Chaka has a voice to be appreciated
Sexy song, sexy sounding singer! What else needs to be said? Tiny S.F. mission.
Loved Rufus!! Chaka is a beast! Her vocals are out of here!
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