Chaka Khan Selected as Rose Parade's Grand Marshal

Published : Wednesday, October 17, 2018 | 9:09 AM

Larger than life recording artist known as Queen of Funk Chaka Khan will be this year’s Rose Parade Grand Marshal on New Year’s Day.

Khan, a 10-time Grammy Award winner, will both ride in 130th Rose Parade and perform in the pre-game celebration at the 105th Rose Bowl Game.

Khan said she has been a fan of the Rose Parade for many years and is looking forward to performing.

“I hope you like me,” Khan said in front of an audience, who then erupted in applause.

“Thank you,” Khan said acknowledging the crowd. “I love you too.”

The theme of the parade, which will mark its 130th year, is the “The Melody of Life,” a celebration of the universal language of music. Gerald Freeny, president of the 2018-19 Tournament of the Roses, said the theme of music symbolizes vitality.

“Music is the soundtrack of life,” he said.

Freeny detailed Khan’s Billboard Music Hit and Grammy Award-winning song “I Feel For You,” a melody she collaborated with musical artists Prince and Stevie Wonder.

“It remained on the chart for an incredible 26 weeks and was one of the top five singles of the year,” Freeny said.

Inducted into the Hollywood Hall of Fame and recipient of the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, Khan was also awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the Berkeley School of Music in Boston, according to Freeny, who listed numerous other accolades awarded to Kahn.

“In 1999, she started a foundation in her name to help women and children at risk,” he said of Khan, an author, entrepreneur and activist. “She’s an icon.”

Khan’s career has spanned five decades, beginning in the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the funk band Rufus. Khan received much attention for her vocals and flashy image. Known as the Khan, she was the first R&B artist to have a hit featuring a rapper, with “I Feel For You’ in 1984. Khan has won ten Grammys and has sold an estimated 70 million records worldwide.

Khan, 65, was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

She has worked with music legends including Stevie Wonder, Ry Cooder, Robert Palmer, Ray Charles, Quincy Jone and Mary J. Blige, among others. In December 2016, Billboard magazine ranked her as the 65th most successful dance artist of all time and ranked 17th in VH1’s original list of the Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.

She also has been inducted as a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Rose Parade travels 5 ½ miles down Colorado Blvd. and features four types of entries: floral-decorated floats entered by a participating corporation, non-profit organization or municipality, equestrian units, bands, and Tournament Entries.

The Rose Parade begins at 8:00 am. on New Year’s Day.

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