Stevie Wonder Wrote One of Chaka Khan's Signature Hits After She Rejected a Song and Asked 'What Else You Got?'

In an interview with 'The Independent,' the "Queen of Funk" also opened up about how success caused a rift within Rufus

<p>Michael Loccisano/WireImage,  Allen Berezovsky/Getty</p> Chaka Khan; Stevie Wonder

Michael Loccisano/WireImage, Allen Berezovsky/Getty

Chaka Khan; Stevie Wonder

Chaka Khan has never been afraid to tell the truth.

In an interview with The Independent on Tuesday, June 11, the "Queen of Funk," 71, recalled a time when she shut down Stevie Wonder while working on music.

While Khan's funk band Rufus was working on the follow-up to their eponymous 1973 debut LP, the legendary singer-songwriter, 74, offered the group one of his unrecorded songs at the time — “Come and Get This Stuff."

Related: Chaka Khan Recalls Being Told Rufus Had 'Too Many Black People in the Band'

“And I told Stevie, ‘I don’t like it – what else you got?’,” the "Sweet Thing" singer said.

When asked how often she believed Wonder heard that kind of feedback, Khan replied: “I don’t think he ever heard that at all. But I wasn’t thinking about that. I just tell the truth all the time, and I can’t help it."

She continued: "It upsets people sometimes. But hell, if the truth upsets you I can’t really help that.”

Luckily, the "Isn't She Lovely" performer wasn't mad at her.

“Stevie said, ‘What’s your birth sign?’ Aries. ‘Oh, I got the song for you…’ And then he started playing that ‘wakka-wakka’ on the keyboard, and – bam! – there it was," Khan recalled.

That eventually became Rufus' hit single "Tell Me Something Good," which was penned by Wonder and landed in Billboard’s Top 3 in 1974.

Its success transformed the dynamic of the band.

“The record company renamed us ‘Rufus and Chaka Khan’,” the "I'm Every Woman" singer said. “That caused a huge rift in how the band felt about me. I was totally against it, and made that very clear."

Khan added: "But the label said, ‘Go along with it, or forget it.’ Of course, I had to ride the pony, for everybody’s sake. But it broke my heart, for them to feel… secondary to me. We’d all been equals. But something beautiful died during that second album, Rags to Rufus, and people are still recovering from what happened. I love those guys. But we can’t talk straight like we used to any more."

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<p>C Brandon/Redferns</p> Chaka Khan in Cambridge, England on June 9, 2024

C Brandon/Redferns

Chaka Khan in Cambridge, England on June 9, 2024

Related: Chaka Khan Shares Her Key Life Lessons Ahead of 70th Birthday: 'It's Bigger Than You'

In May, the R&B superstar opened up about racism she faced during her time in Rufus in an interview with The Guardian.

"When Rufus first came out, it was all white guys and myself, but then the band changed and Tony Maiden, Bobby Watson and Andre Fischer came in," Khan said of the band's members. "This guy booked us for a gig in Illinois, based on our original album cover, and when we got there he said that there were too many Black people in the band."

She added, "He actually put some white guys on the stage with us."

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