20 Years, 20 Moments: Chaka Khan Slays 2012

(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

In this week's 20 Years, 20 Moments, we look at back at Chaka Khan's epic 2012 performance.

ESSENCE.COM Mar, 24, 2014

Singer and Essence Festival veteran Chaka Khan turned 61 on Sunday, and if her Essence Festival performance from two years ago tells us anything, it’s that the passing of time won’t do much to her pipes or her two-step.

In 2012, in one of the more memorable performances of recent years, a newly-slim Chaka Khan had quite the task. On the last day of the festival, she was slated to perform on the Mainstage right after Ms. Aretha Franklin, whose show ran way over, because, well, she’s Ms. Aretha Franklin. (Hers was a 90-minute, 13-song set, complete with a full orchestra and an award ceremony in the middle.)

It was 1 a.m. before Chaka Khan took to the stage before a tired, dwindiling crowd. What happened next was incredible. Even Tank counts this festival moment among his favorite, and told us in a recent interview that Chaka Khan’s set was well worth the wait.

Watch part of Chaka Khan’s 2012 “Tell Me Something Good” performance below, and don’t forget to send us stories of your favorite moments from the Essence Festival.