You don’t earn the title “Queen of Funk” by being a wallflower. Chaka Khan, who turns 64 today, has spent her life front and center. From her days as a teen Black Panther to her performances alongside contemporaries like Prince and Stevie Wonder, Khan is a fascinating presence on and off stage. Blessed with powerhouse vocals and an outsize persona to match, Khan is fearless—and you can also see that in her style.
Long before she was considered a diva, Khan dressed the part. The child of artists, Khan stayed true to her counterculture upbringing in the ’70s, with flowing maxi dresses and flower-child hair accessories adorning her afro. Committed to creativity from a young age, she performed in local groups while growing up in Chicago’s Hyde Park before establishing herself as a singer and songwriter.
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