Chaka Khan recently found out about Rolling Stone magazine’s “200 Greatest Singers of All Time” list, and she’s not too happy about their choices. The “I’m Every Woman” singer was ranked number 29 on the list, which was published at the start of the year.
In a new interview with Los Angeles Magazine Wednesday (March 1), Khan “didn’t even know what the hell you were talking about,” when interviewer Andrew Goldman congratulated her on being included. “So obviously, this don’t mean a great deal to me,” she told him. “These people don’t quantify or validate me in any way.”
Despite saying that, Khan, who turns 70 on March 23, was curious about who else was featured. Finding out that Mariah Carey placed in the number 5 spot, however, Khan suspected foul play. “That must be payola or some s— like that,” she said. Next was Adele’s inclusion at number 22, to which she responded: “Okay, I quit.” When she found out that her longtime frenemy Mary J. Blige appears on the list just ahead of her, at number 25, Khan remarked on Rolling Stone’s editors. “What? Wait, wait? I’m 22 and she’s 25?” she asked, before being corrected that she was placed 29th. “Oh, you know what? That’s why I feel the way I do. These are some blind bat bitches. These bitches are blind as a motherf—ing bat! They need hearing aids! They have no eyes, they have no ears. These must be the children of Helen Keller!”
As the publication reports, decades ago in concert, Khan would introduce the 1975 Rufus funk ballad, “Sweet Thing” as “the song Mary J. Blige f—ed up.” Blige covered the song for her 1992 debut album. Though Blige sang in Khan’s 2007 song, “Funk This” years later, their current relationship doesn’t seem to be a friendly one.
Khan did have positive things to say about others on the list, including Aretha Franklin, whom the outlet placed as the greatest singer of all time. To which Khan said, “She should be! As she f—ing should be. Thank you, there’s justice somewhere!” She also spoke highly of Whitney Houston, who came in second place. “Great, I’m the one who introduced her to Clive [Davis]. And I introduced her to the business.” She added, “I made her mother bring her down to the studio and sing background with me. Her and Luther Vandross. They both sang background for me on my albums.”