Chaka Khan Collaborating With Steven Tyler, Akon
Chaka Khan may be a legacy artist in the industry, but that isn't to say the legendary songstress isn't as busy as ever. At the top of her list? A duets album, including a Led Zeppelin cover alongside "American Idol" judge and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler.
"We literally just clicked," Khan tells Billboard.com of Tyler. "We were at Elton John's party and we got to talk and we both wanted to sing together. We said, 'Let's do a mutual song, by you know, a neutral band -- a band that we both love,' and we both love Zeppelin."
The "I'm Every Woman" singer will record the duet of a yet-to-be-decided Zepplin tune with Tyler soon, which she has plans to release on a forthcoming double album of duets.
And as if that superstar meeting of the musical minds wasn't enough, Khan's got some other tricks up her sleeve -- a potential collaboration with Akon and a jazz-tinged tribute concert dedicated to another superstar, the incomparable Joni Mitchell. The tribute concert finds Khan working alongside jazz icon Herbie Hancock and the Swell Season's Glen Hansard, with the Los Angeles show set for August 17 at the Hollywood Bowl.
With the duets album, the Joni tribute concert and a slew of tour dates on the horizon (including a performance as part of this month's first annual Blue Note Jazz Festival in NYC), you may ask how the Chicago-born beauty continues to do it all.
"I pretty much just live in the moment, and I always have," says the singer. "Whatever happens, you gotta go with it, and I've been really blessed with this life choice that I made, which makes me happy. Keeps me sane. It's an all-around good thing that I turned out to be a singer."
Khan will be honored for her achievements at the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction and awards dinner in NYC on June 16, where she will receive receive the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award.
(Additional reporting by Jillian Mapes)