WATCH: Chaka Khan Captivates Tiny Desk with Soulful Performance


Chaka Khan, the “Queen of Funk,” delighted fans at the Tiny Desk with a rendition of her hit “Sweet Thing,” where the audience’s enthusiastic participation underscored her enduring influence on music. Emerging in the 1970s with the funk band Rufus, Khan’s career boasts 22 albums, 10 Grammy Awards, and collaborations with icons like Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Quincy Jones. Her 50-year journey in the music industry was recently celebrated with her 2023 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The performance began with guitarist Rob Bacon on the talk box, accompanied by bassist Melvin Davis and drummer Jay Williams, setting the stage for a funky rendition of “Tell Me Something Good.” The office audience couldn’t resist grooving to classics like “What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me” and “Ain’t Nobody.” Tiffany Smith, one of Khan’s backing vocalists, was impressed with her delivery of the challenging moments in “Sweet Thing.”

To close the show, Khan performed “I’m Every Woman,” an anthem written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson that has empowered women for decades. The song was a perfect finale for a month celebrating Black women’s contributions to music, showcasing Khan’s powerful voice and timeless appeal.


The performance featured a talented ensemble, including Melvin Davis on bass, Jesse Milliner on keys, Rob Bacon on guitar, Euro Zambrano on percussion, Jay Williams on drums, and backing vocals from Audrey Wheeler-Downing, Tiffany Smith, and Trina Broussard. The Tiny Desk team, led by producers Bobby Carter and Mitra I. Arthur, delivered a flawless production, with Joshua Bryant directing and editing and Neil Tevault managing the audio. Chaka Khan’s Tiny Desk concert reaffirmed her status as a musical legend, connecting with fans through her powerful and soulful performances.