It's been nearly a decade since Chaka Khan last released a solo album, but the R&B veteran hasn't noticed. "I never really worried about it," Khan -- who releases "Funk This" tomorrow (Sept. 25) -

It's been nearly a decade since Chaka Khan last released a solo album, but the R&B veteran hasn't noticed.

"I never really worried about it," Khan -- who releases "Funk This" tomorrow (Sept. 25) -- tells Billboard.com. "I was always working. I was on the road all the time. I work on the road like I have a CD out, anyway. It's been a very busy 10 years."

Khan says that making a new album was simply a matter of finding the right deal. She left Reprise after 1998's "Come 2 My House" and says that since then, "I went to about three companies. We almost got to the point where we were gonna record and things got funky so I left. I just figured when it happens it'll happen, y'know? I had such bad experiences with record labels in the past that I wasn't really that anxious to get back with a label. It's when the time is right, and that's exactly how this went down."

Khan wound up signing with the Sony-distributed Burgundy Records imprint and teamed up with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to make "Funk This." The album mixes originals and covers, the latter including Prince's "Sign O' the Times," Joni Mitchell's "Ladies Man," Jimi Hendrix's "Castles Made of Sand," a Rufus medley of "Pack'd My Bags" and "You Got the Love," and a duet with Michael McDonald on "You Belong to Me," which he co-wrote with Carly Simon.

Khan also duets with Mary J. Blige on the track "Disrespectful," and she hopes "Funk This" fills what she feels has been a void since her last release. "People tell me that a lot, that they were missing the Chaka sound or missing my stuff," she says. "I hear that all the time. But now I'm back and they don't have to miss it any more."

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