Chaka Khan apologises for calling Rolling Stone editors “children of Helen Keller”

“I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait”

Chaka Khan has apologised for hitting out at Rolling Stone’s ‘200 Best Singers Of All Time’ list, saying that she is committed to “empowering all artists”.

The US funk and soul singer was ranked at number 29 on the viral list which was published on January 1, 2023.

Topped by Aretha Franklin, the likes of Whitney HoustonSam Cooke, Billie Holiday and Mariah Carey round out the Top Five.


Khan, however, responded by calling the magazine editors “blind bitches”.

“They need hearing aids,” she said on on Andrew Goldman’s ‘Originals’ podcast. “These must be the children of Helen Keller!”

The ‘I Feel For You’ singer also criticised the artists who ranked above her, including Carey. “That must be payola or some shit like that,” she jokingly suggested.

As for Adele ranking at 22nd, she quipped: “OK, I quit.”

The singer has since explained her comments in an Instagram post, admitting that she “took the bait”.


“Recently, I was asked about a list of the ‘greatest singers of all time’ and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait,” she wrote in the post, shared Sunday (March 5).

“As artists, we are unfairly put into ‘boxes’, ‘categories’ or on ‘lists.’ Being an artist or musician is not a competition. It’s a gift, for which I am truly grateful.

“It was not my intention to cause pain or upset anyone. To anyone that felt this way, I sincerely apologise.”

She added: “Empowering all artists is most important because we truly are the architects of change…and change begins with the heart.”

The singer also said that she has started a foundation with the purpose of “empowering others”, which she intends to announce soon.

Khan was not the only person to express their disappointment at the piece, with Celine Dion fans launching a protest following her snub from the rankings.

“The audacity of not acknowledging [Dion] in your flawed Top 200 as one of the top vocalists of all time and not seeing her vocal prowess is sincerely an insult beyond measure, if not a criminal offense. Fix it,” encouraged one fan.

“Celine Dion is a top 3 vocalist of all time. Rolling Stone needs to immediately exit the business of music journalism,” added another.

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