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Chaka Khan Reveals First Album In 12 Years Coming Soon, Drops Video For Title Track "Hello Happiness"
GRAMMY winner Chaka Khan aka the Queen Of Funk, started releasing feel-good dance music in 1973, as the lead singer of GRAMMY-winning disco/funk group Rufus. Fast-forward to 2019, 12 years since Khan's last album, the GRAMMY-winning Funk This, she is ready to share more music with the world. Today she announced her 12th solo studio album, Hello Happiness, is due out Feb. 15, and has given fans a taste with its joyful title track.
"Hello Happiness" opens with Khan singing, "Music makes me sing/ Goodbye sadness/ Hello happiness," over an upbeat, bouncing dance beat. The video, released today and directed by Sam Pilling, adds a contrasting layer to the song, with muted '70s-inspired colors and a plot centered around cheating lovers and a phone booth. The scenes of Khan singing into the payphone perhaps point towards making music again as a therapeutic process to overcome her own life's challenges. It is the second single and video she has released in anticipation of the upcoming album, following "Like Sugar" last summer.
"Like Sugar," a funky dance track, was initially released as an extended version, limited edition 100-copy run for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018, seeing big-time support from dance music DJs, including two BBC Radio 1 legends, Annie Mac and Pete Tong. The single was released to the public on June 15 as the first track from Diary Records, a new sublabel under Universal Music, led by heavy-weight producer Dave "Switch" Taylor, formerly of Major Lazer, and singer/songwriter Sarah Ruba Taylor.
The announcement on Khan's website shares the album will also be released by Diary Records, and its tracks were produced by Switch. It also reveals Khan's collaboration with Switch and Ruba Taylor began in an organic way, before she was planning on recording a new solo album.
"Chaka Khan first collaborated with Switch and Ruba Taylor as a potential featured artist on a different project. Inspired by the power of both her voice and personality, the duo suggested working on an original Chaka Khan album – something which she didn't have in mind. But she was soon convinced when she heard some of Switch and Ruba Taylor's songs, which coincidentally were influenced by Chaka Khan but written for their own project," the statement reads.
Most recently, Khan served as the Grand Marshall for the 130th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1. In 2018 she performed at a handful of big events, including Joni 75, a tribute to the GRAMMY-winner Joni Mitchell on her 75th birthday, and Aretha Franklin's funeral in honor of the Queen Of Soul's legacy.
Khan received her first GRAMMY nomination and win for her band Rufus' 1974 hit single, "Tell Me Something Good," at the 17th GRAMMY Awards. As her career progressed with the group and then with her solo releases, she received more nominations and wins over the years, most recently for her last album, Funk This, which won Best R&B Album, along with a win for its single "Disrespectful," at the 50th GRAMMY Awards.
Perhaps her new album will not only help get the world dancing even just a little bit more, but also give the Queen Of Funk a chance to return to the GRAMMY stage.