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Chaka Khan Talks of Past Drug Addiction at Essence Festival

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Chaka Khan arrived at this year’s Essence Film Festival Saturday (July 2) and opened up to fans about how her previous drug addiction paved the way for some of her most memorable songs.

Taking to the main stage in the New Orleans Superdome after El Debarge, the 58-year-old not only treated fans to a high-energy performance but touched on her past drug addiction in the midst of her musical set, which included ‘I Feel For You,’ ‘Through the Wire,’ ‘I’m Every Woman’ and ‘Aint Nobody.’

Although Khan’s performance set may have been lighthearted, when it came to the matter of her road to recovery from drug addiction, she sang a different tune. “This next song is a song I wrote but I don’t remember writing it because I was high,” she admitted of the song ‘Trouble Little Angel.’ “That was then, this is now, I’m seven years clean.”

Since rising to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of the group Rufus, Khan has gone on to sell over eight million albums worldwide. As of late, the soul singer has made headlines for her philanthropic work, receiving the United Negro College Fund Award of Excellence earlier this year. Her last album, 2007’s ‘Funk This,’ went on to sell over 150,000 copies domestically.

The Essence Music Festival came to a close on July 3 and featured performances from Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott, Kanye West and Mary J. Blige.

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Watch Chaka Khan’s ‘Angel’

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