By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Chaka Khan, legendary Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and Kenwood Academy High School alum, visited Chicago on July 27 and July 28 to receive honors for more than 40 years of excellence in the music industry.
On July 27, Khan visited Hyde Park and was honored in a street naming ceremony. Blackstone Avenue between 50th and 51st streets was named Chaka Khan Way.
“Thank you for loving me for so many years and hanging in there with me,” Khan said to the crowd after signing part of her song “Ain’t Nobody” with them. “I can’t believe my name is hanging there under Blackstone — that’s hot!”
Students in The Jazz Ensemble and Choir at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., performed at Saturday’s ceremony. Family, friends, fans and community leaders and elected officials including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Fr. Michael Pfleger, Carol Adams, president of DuSable Museum of African American History, Ald. Will Burns (4th), state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25), state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) and state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26) were in also attendance.
On Sunday evening in Millennium Park, Khan was honored in a ceremony proclaiming that day “Chaka Khan Day.” After the ceremony she gave a free concert to thank the city for the honors.
“I owe this city so much, and I’m deeply honored by this tribute.” Khan said in a written statement. “Chicago will always be a part of me, and with this street naming, I now will always be a part of it. It’s a blessing to me and my family.”