Ch-ch-ch-chaka Khan, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan gave an interview to Huffington Post last week discussing her soon-approaching comeback (I feel like she’s been all over the place this year!) and the rumor that she might’ve had surgery to assist with her weight loss:
Congratulations on your recent weight loss. What’s your reaction to those speculating that you had surgery?
They can say whatever they want. Only I know what’s really going on. My weight loss had to occur, because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure. And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year. And I ended up going, “Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.” And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here. … [She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.
And with that mindset are you seeing a significant change in the material that you’ve recorded in the past?
I’m not playing it so safe. I feel like I have no boundaries, musically, right now. There are none. Any restrictions that I place upon [the music], I place them on myself. The hardest thing right now is to trust that instinct. It’s the same instinct on many different other levels for other stuff. But I think you’ll see something different.
In the past you’ve contributed to various soundtracks, not to mention your cover versions of a few notable James Bond themes. Can fans expect you to record for another blockbuster in the near future?
I certainly hope so. A lot of doors have opened significantly for me since I dropped the weight. And I have mixed reactions to that, but I’m going to strike the iron while it’s hot. So there’s been lots of meetings with lots of people. I’m coming out with a perfume line called, Khanasutra, a line of candles, and Chaka Lips for the holidays.
With you receiving mixed reactions stemming from your weight loss, what are your thoughts on some calling you a sex symbol?
Well, I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat I was a sex symbol. Some men like it that, you know. But I don’t think about that. That’s so far from my mind right now [Laughs].
First, shout out to “I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat, I was a sex symbol.” Tell it, girl.
Secondly, I’m curious. There’s always this cover of “well, did she have surgery? Did she not?” whenever a person unravels a new body, and if they don’t answer us immediately once the question arises, we feel some kind of way about it. Almost like, we feel entitled to know what’s going on, how they did it. I don’t know if it’s because we want that person’s experiences to validate our own experiences (or our thoughts and feelings on how those experiences should go) or what, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s a bit unnerving.
Then again, at the same time… are you making yourself a role model simply by being a publicly-present Black woman, in the day and age of everyone trying to figure out why Black women are so fat, with a much slimmer figure than you originally had? And, if so, should you simply expect to receive these questions and be prepared to answer them? I mean, to this day, I still get people who firmly believe I “had the surgery.” It’s also easy for me to give a definitive answer of “No, I didn’t.” I don’t have to reply, “they can say whatever they want.” Just as much as it unnerves me that people feel entitled to ask, it also bugs me that a definitive answer wasn’t given.
It all vaguely reminds me of another celebrity who was less-than-forthcoming about her surgery, only for it to end horribly. I’m… I’m just sayin’.
I’m happy for Chaka, nonetheless.
So, I’m curious. What do y’all think?