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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

x

Track List: Stompin' At The Savoy (Live)

Disc 1

1. You Got The Love (Live)

4. Sweet Thing (Live)

5. Tell Me Something Good (Live)

6. You're Welcome, Stop On By (Live)

7. Pack'd My Bags (Live)

Disc 2

1. Ain't That Peculiar (Live)

2. Stay (Live)

3. What Cha' Gonna Do For Me (Live)

4. Do You Love What You Feel (Live)

5. Ain't Nobody (Live)

6. One Million Kisses (Live)

7. Try A Little Understanding (Live)

8. Don't Go To Strangers (Live)

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan

1. Do You Love What You Feel

2. Tell Me Something Good

3. Dance Wit Me

4. Hollywood

5. Stay

6. Once You Get Started

7. You Got The Love

8. At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)

9. Please Pardon Me (You Remind Me Of A Friend)

10. Sweet Thing

x

Track List: Master Jam

1. Do You Love What You Feel

2. Any Love

3. Heaven Bound

4. Walk The Rockway

5. Live In Me

6. Body Heat

7. I'm Dancing For Your Love

8. What Am I Missing?

9. Master Jam

x

Track List: Street Player

1. Street Player

2. Stay

3. Turn

4. Best Of Your Heart

5. Finale

6. Blue Love

7. Stranger To Love

8. Take Time

9. Destiny

10. Change Your Ways

x

Track List: Ask Rufus

1. At Midnight

2. Close The Door

3. Medley (Slow Screw Against The Wall / A Flat Fry)

4. Earth Song

5. Everlasting

6. Hollywood

7. Magic In Your Eyes

8. Better Days

9. Egyptian Song

x

Track List: Rufusized

1. Once You Get Started

2. Somebody's Watching You

3. Pack'd My Bags

4. Your Smile

5. Refusized

6. I'm A Woman

7. Right Is Right

8. Half Moon

9. Please Pardon Me

10. Stop On By

Comments

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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Chaka Khan awesome.
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Sweet Thing- Chaka Khan- Chicago "SWEET THING " yes you are.. We all ❤️ you . Take care self........ . . . .
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One of my faves by Rufus & Chaka Khan Sweet Thing, yes I am a sweet thing....yes , I am!!
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Have mercy upon DONALD TRUMP, O God, according to thy lovingkindne s s : according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out his transgressio n s . Wash him throughly from his iniquity, and cleanse him from his sin.
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I acknowledge DONALD TRUMP transgressio n s : and his sin is ever before YOU. AGAINST YOU GOD, YOU ONLY, have DONALD TRUMP sinned, and done evil in your sight: that YOU be justified when YOU speak, and be clear when YOU judgest. LORD REMEMBER DONALD TRUMP was shape in iniquity; and in sin did his mother conceive him. FATHER you desires truth in the inward parts: so I know in the hidden part YOU shall make DONALD TRUMP to know wisdom.
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Purge him with hyssop, and he shall be clean: wash him, and he shall be whiter than snow. Make him to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from his sins, and blot out all his iniquities. Create in him a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within him. Cast him not away from You presence; and take not Your holy spirit from him. Restore unto him the joy of his salvation; and uphold him with Your free spirit.
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Then will DONALD TRUMP teach transgressor s YOUR ways; and sinners shall be converted unto YOU. Deliver him from bloodguiltin e s s , O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousnes s . O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
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SO Father i pray YOU shall break DONALD TRUMP spirit and give him a contrite heart Oh God i know THEN YOU shall not despise him. Do good in thy good pleasure unto DONALD TRUMP: build up the walls of United States of America. Then shall thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousnes s , Praise, Prayers and Worship upon thine altar. IN Jesus name I PRAY! Amen ���� 
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knmitch01
Chaka Khan is so iconic. I love this song.
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~~Sweet Thing~~this is my favorite karaoke jam!
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Love this song������
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maendb4
ROCK IT LAURYN!!! JUST TO GOOD TO BE TRUE MUCH LOVE
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"Sweet Thing"! Chaka you are......
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Chaka stay up!!!!!
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This is the song that bring me around no more funk...aaaaa a a a a a a à a a a à . . . . y o u r my heat
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One of my favorites by Chaka Khan
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Miss Chaka - U are "Sweet Thing"! Take care of self. "CHICAGO STRONG"!
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davidevail
Brings back much luving memories
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Hey sister! "STAY"- up, improving, getting better, positive, smiling, praying, riding, running,walk i n g , loving yourself, loving your body,, loving family and maturing- Chaka "STAY "!!!!!
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~Sweet Thing~~is always music to the ear.....also one of my karoke favorite to sing!
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I was station on the over seas when this came out 3/11th ACR
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Sad song re my 70's era.
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Your my sweet thing Chris Garnett
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I was in high school when this was out great memories here
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Oh Yeah, now this is a good memory, whoop whoop whoop oh Yeah!!!!!!!
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Brings back memories of yesteryear
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YES YES!!!
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This song always reminds me of a very sweet friend ��
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Dam
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I miss Luther.
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Chaka hits it out of the park!!!
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nancyweissbe i n
Great team! Sweet Thing :)
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I Luv it" songs I heard when I was a child I forgot about them, make you of the Good Times", when it was Pure Good Music Play'n" ����
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Vibesss asf . ������
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Love it !!
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No doubt awesome recordings, U cannot go wrong listen to Chaka, add Rufus & you've scored a knockout group of the ages.
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Hey sister, I pray you improve and make better choices. Stay in prayer and strong. "We Fall Down but We Get Up"! Peace Queen.......
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When they went to the club in lingerie! omg
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Love music not war!
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I love this song ❤️❤️❤️❤️����
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Great soul
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Sweet Thing- don't u hear me talking baby- sweet thing- yes u are- I wish u were my lover- don't walk away- these words may sound funny- WOW! Great music .......... Thanks. Bad sister from the "CHI"!
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She is from the "CHI"! Enough said. !!!!!!!!
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mdbasko
Prince loved this song and sung it at most concerts with his acoustic guitar. Let the audience participate. Was an awesome sing along I will never forget.
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Chaka and the Rufus thing was just what we needed at the time. But, my favorite from her is Through the Fire. The girl blew that piece over the top.
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Gotta love Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan!!! It feels good to be in love. "Love me now or I'll go crazy"!!!
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Yes
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No
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SweetThing
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