Not since Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight took us down memory lane in September have two vocal legends participated in a Veruz battle. But with the right pairing, R&B funk icon Chaka Khan says she’d be open to going song for song with another singer on the show.
ESSENCE spoke to Khan ahead of the release of Rhino Records’ limited-edition album of her work as part of a series of vinyl reissues and first-ever digital releases celebrating Black artists during Black History Month. Khan’s album, “Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Vol 1,” a beautiful Burgundy Vinyl, will be available on February 26.
“I’m happy to be a part of this whole thing,” Khan told us, applauding the modern thinkers at the label who put the launch together. As for her favorite song among the 10 hits on the album, she says, “‘Aint Nobody’ is on there. That’s an all-time favorite of mine. That’s one song I still love to sing on stage. That song is still live.”
With music venues still largely being shut down due to COVID-19, Verzuz has been the main stage for music fans to see their favorite artists. On Twitter, users have suggested Khan face-off against legendary contemporaries such as Anita Baker, Tina Turner, or Diana Ross on the series, but the 67-year-old has someone else in mind.
“I was thinking about maybe doing one with Jazmine Sullivan. I would prefer to do something like that with a younger artist, you know? People who are multi-dimensional. Not the flat surface of the same people from the same time and era. It needs just a little more dimension. I would consider that.”
As for Twitter’s Verzuz Battle wish list, she says, “Too bad.”
Check out our full interview with Chaka Khan in the video above.