CHICAGO — The city of Chicago paid a special tribute to Grammy Award-winning vocalist Chaka Khan, by naming a south side street in her honor on Saturday. The honorable “Chaka Khan Way,” the street between 50th and 51st Sts. on south Blackstone Ave. was officially unveiled, while Sunday, July 28 was also proclaimed “Chaka Khan Day” here in her hometown.
Chaka Khan Way is located on the west side of Kenwood Academy, where Khan, born Yvette Marie Stevens, attended high school during its early years. Current students at Kenwood also had the opportunity to participate in the event. Khan was saluted for her 40-year career in music and entertainment, and joined in the ceremonial unveiling of Chaka Khan Way with her family, including her sister and a host of other relatives from throughout the Chicago area.
Several city officials, business executives and community leaders were
among the attendees, including fourth ward Alderman William Burns, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church,
State Senator Kwame Raoul, State Reps. Christian Mitchell and Barbara Flynn Currie and Carl McKenzie, a cultural event producer and president of Artworks Chicago.
“This is the biggest honor I have ever received in my life,” said Khan. “The people of Chicago have always loved me and have supported me throughout my career—through thick and thin. To have a street named after you in the third largest city in the country is a big deal. To think that people will say ‘make a right or left turn on Chaka Khan Way’ is mind-blowing. Long after I’m gone, and my children and grandchildren are gone, the street named Chaka Khan Way will still be here to carry on my legacy in the city where it all started for me.”
Chaka Khan was born in Chicago and grew up on Carpenter St. in Hyde Park.