Chaka Khan Apologizes For Shading Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Adele & More

Blige covered "Sweetest Thing" years ago, & Chaka said her vocals were flat. “If you’d been up all night, smoking crack or something, I don’t know."

BYErika Marie

Chaka Khan is an unlikely person to kick off a flood of reactions following her interviews, yet here we are. The legend has been intimately woven into music history, and her contributions to the culture are unmatched. However, Chaka Khan's soundbites have caused an uproar in recent years. She went viral—twice—over comments made about Kanye West. She admitted to hating his "Through the Fire" sample for his classic hit "Through the Wire." More recently, Khan shared scathing opinions about Adele, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige. For the latter controversy, she returns with an apology.

"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 says in a statement shared to Instagram. "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."

Chaka Khan Says She Didn't Mean To Offend

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Chaka Khan performs onstage during Angel Ball 2022 hosted by Gabrielle's Angel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on October 24, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Gabrielle's Angel Foundation)

"It was not my intention to cause pain or upset anyone. To anyone that felt this way, I sincerely apologize," she continued. "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. I love you all and God bless."

The apology has caused a divide. Khan's supporters don't believe she needed to explain herself to anyone. Yet, those who found her remarks to be offensive have taken to social media with pushback because they didn't think the icon took accountability. During the controversial interview, Khan had this to say about Blige's cover of her classic, "Sweetest Thing": “I told Mary J. Blige she f*cked it up,” Chaka Khan said.

Khan's Hot Take About Mary J.

She added, “Number one, her vocals were flat. And I asked her, I said, ‘What time of day was it or night, what were you doing when you decided to cover ‘Sweet Thing’? And where were you at when you covered it?’” Khan claimed Blige told her she was up late, until 8:00 a.m. “I said, ‘Girl, you don’t sing nothing at eight in the motherf*cking morning. Especially if you have to get up to sing it.'” Check out Chaka Khan's post above.

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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.