Chicago Sun-Times



Chaka Khan isn’t holding back her opinions on music stars who ranked higher than her on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest singers of all time.

In Wednesday’s episode of the

Los Angeles Magazine podcast “The Originals,” Khan, 69, gave her unfiltered reaction to finding out that the music magazine ranked Mariah Carey, Adele and Mary J. Blige higher than her.

“What list is that?” Khan said, when told on the podcast about the list. “These are somebody’s opinions, correct? Then that’s all I have to say. I feel honored; however, it’s not going to take me over any moon. These people don’t quantify or validate me in any way.”

Khan also criticized the list for pitting artists against each other. The magazine ranked Khan at No. 29, Carey at No. 5, Adele at No. 22 and Blige at No. 25.

“I didn’t even know what the hell you were talking about, so obviously lists don’t mean a great deal to me,” she added.

When told about Carey’s ranking, Khan replied: “That must be payola.” When told about Adele’s ranking, Khan said: “OK, I quit.”

Khan had fiercer words when told Blige’s ranking. “They need hearing aids,” she said, before saying the list’s creators must be related to blind and deaf disability rights advocate Helen Keller.

The list, published in January, drew criticism for its A-list snubs. Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Janet Jackson, Tony Bennett, Madonna, Nat King Cole, Dionne Warwick and more didn’t make the list.

“This new list ... encompasse­s 100 years of pop music as an ongoing global conversati­on,” Rolling Stone wrote at the time, adding it based criteria on “originalit­y, influence, the depth of an artist’s catalog and the breadth of their musical legacy.”

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Chaka Khan

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