February 23rd, 2012 by faye
An encounter with Etta James left Chaka Khan vowing to herself never to inject drugs, but unfortunately not off of them entirely. ‘Queen of Funk’ Chaka Khan got some drug advice from the late diva Etta James when Khan was just starting in the music business.
During an interview with Britain’s OK! magazine, Chaka Khan recalls, “When I first went to sign at Warner Bros. I met Etta James. She was standing outside in the hall waiting for me. I was a big fan, so I was really pleased to see her.”
Chaka Khan went on saying, “She said to me, ‘Whatever you do, if you wanna be in this business…’ showing me the tracks on her arm,… ‘do not do this.’ I said, ‘Oh my God! Don’t worry, I won’t.’ And I didn’t. I snorted heroin for a good 10 years and I did cocaine, but I never injected.”
The 58-year-old “I’m Every Woman” hitmaker spent years battling her drug demons and was hooked on heroin and cocaine until abandoning her habit in the early 1990s. But despite sinking to the depths of addiction, Chaka Khan is glad she always steered clear of using needles to inject drugs after a sickening encounter with Etta James left her reeling.