Rolling Stone really knows how to get the people going. Before publishing a widely reported, scathing scoop on the alleged dysfunction on the set of The Weeknd and Sam Levinson’s forthcoming HBO series, The Idol, there was the “200 Greatest Singers Of All Time” list, which drove Celine Dion fans to politely protest her exclusion outside of the magazine’s New York office.
Chaka Khan disputed the list for a different reason, and she wasn’t polite about it. The 10-time Grammy winner joined the latest episode of Los Angeles Magazine Presents: The Originals podcast with Andrew Goldman. At the end of the hour-long conversation, Khan said she hadn’t read the list — “I don’t read” — so Goldman filled her in by reading the blurb Rolling Stone wrote about her. Khan is ranked 29th.
“Just listening to that, if I didn’t know Chaka Khan, I would say, ‘Ooh, that earns at least a five. Maybe a 10, at the least,” she said. Khan agreed with Aretha Franklin topping the list (“As she f*cking should be! Thank you! There’s justice somewhere”) and Whitney Houston at No. 2 but belted her criticism of Mariah Carey’s fifth-place ranking with the oomph of “I’m Every Woman.”
“That must be payola or some sh*t like that,” Khan said of Carey’s positioning. She also declined to comment on Beyoncé at No. 8 before commenting on Beyoncé at No. 8: “I don’t have anything to say about Beyoncé. She’s a great singer. She really has [the] opportunity to be a great singer. She has what it takes. She got the chops. She does.”
Carey wasn’t the only one to upset Khan, as Adele, Christina Aguilera — “Whatever, a lot of Black people like Christina Aguilera. She’s alright” — and Mary J. Blige caught strays.
“I quit,” Khan said after Goldman revealed Adele ranked 22nd. And that was nothing compared to her reaction to Mary J.’s spot ahead of her at No. 25.
“You know what? That’s why I feel the way I do,” Khan said. “These are some blind bat b*tches. These b*tches are blind as a motherf*cking bat! They need hearing aids. They don’t have hearing aids. They have no eyes. They have no ears. You know what? These must be the children of Helen Keller.”
Whew. You’d think Khan was left off the list like Dion.