Chaka Khan is addressing her harsh critiques made toward some singers that made Rolling Stone‘s “200 Greatest Singers of All Time” list. The “I’m Every Woman” singer, who was ranked number 29 on the list, gave her thoughts on those with better rankings in an interview last week.
The legendary singer “didn’t even know what the hell” the list was. That is, until interviewer Andrew Goldman congratulated her on being included. “So obviously, this don’t mean a great deal to me,” she told him. “These people don’t quantify or validate me in any way.”
But Khan, who turns 70 on March 23, was curious about who else was featured. Whe she learned that Mariah Carey placed in the number 5 spot, however, Khan suspected foul play. “That must be payola or some s— like that,” she said. Next was Adele’s inclusion at number 22, to which she responded: “Okay, I quit.” When she found out that her longtime frenemy Mary J. Blige appears on the list just ahead of her, at number 25, Khan remarked on Rolling Stone’s editors she said, “These are some blind bat bitches. These bitches are blind as a motherf—ing bat! They need hearing aids! They have no eyes, they have no ears. These must be the children of Helen Keller!”
Now, Khan took to Instagram yesterday (March 5) to respond to the backlash she faced due to her bold comments. “Recently, I was asked about a list of the ‘greatest singers of all time’ and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait,” Khan wrote in her post. “As artists, we are unfairly put into ‘boxes,’ ‘categories’ or on ‘lists.’ Being an artist or musician is not a competition. It’s a gift, for which I am truly grateful.”
Khan continued, “It was not my intention to cause pain or upset anyone. To anyone that felt this way, I sincerely apologize. Thank you for all the love everyone has shown me, unconditionally. I have always been about empowering others and I started a foundation for that very purpose. I will be announcing soon.”
“Empowering all artists is most important because we truly are the architects of change…and change begins within the heart,” she concluded. “I love you all and God bless.”
Khan did have positive things to say about others on the Rolling Stone list, including Aretha Franklin, whom the outlet placed as the greatest singer of all time. To which Khan said, “She should be! As she f—ing should be. Thank you, there’s justice somewhere!” She also spoke highly of Whitney Houston, who came in second place. “Great, I’m the one who introduced her to Clive [Davis]. And I introduced her to the business.” She added, “I made her mother bring her down to the studio and sing background with me. Her and Luther Vandross. They both sang background for me on my albums.”