Watch Chaka Khan Reign on the Weather Girls’ Classic “It’s Raining Men”

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Posted April 22, 2015 by J Matthew Cobb in Features
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A bit stormy, Chaka Khan’s rendition of “It’s Raining Men” on Late Show still shows off her super soulful pipes

The countdown for David Letterman‘s last show on late-night TV is now in motion. And he’s not going out without throwing the party favors.

Last night,  Chaka Khan — a ten-time Grammy award winner, a point the show’s host reiterated twice — took to the Late Show stage to perform a rendition of the Weather Girls’ 1982 pop/dance classic “It’s Raining Men.” Late Show music director Paul Shaffer, who co-penned the hit song, accompanied the singing machine on keyboards. Khan was also supported by New York’s best: former Luther Vandross backing vocalist Tawatha Agee and Aretha’s own Vaneese Thomas made up parts of the juicy background, providing dexterous soulful support as if they were a gospel ensemble.

In the beginning of the song, Khan seemed a bit troubled. She fumbled over lyrics as if the teleprompter was out of commission. Most parts of the song collapsed as if she didn’t know it. And it would make sense if she didn’t; she never recorded it. Shaffer may have asked her at the last minute to sing it, possibly filling in for original singer Martha Wash. It felt very uncomfortable in those moments to see a golden songstress stumble on live television.

“It’s Raining Men” started to feel like it was raining cats and dogs instead.

But as the song’s chorus rolled out, Khan’s confidence began to build. In those moments, her love for jazzy riffs and decorative  improvisations started flowing like a raging waterfall. And her stratospheric wails were also on full display. At the age of 62, “ain’t nobody” going to hit those high notes like the incomparable Chaka Khan. She works her voice like a 21st century Ella but with unlimited range. 

According to Letterman, Khan is planning to roll out a new solo album later this year.

 

[WATCH] CHAKA KHAN PERFORM “IT’S RAINING MEN” ON THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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