Happy Birthday, Sweet Thing


“Ain’t Nobody Does Me Better” … “Tell Me Something Good” … “Through the Fire” … “I’m Every Woman”….

Frank Sheftel and his friend 10 time Grammy winner Chaka Khan celebrating her 60th Birthday at Yamashiro Restaurant in Hollywood.

Frank Sheftel and his friend 10 time Grammy winner Chaka Khan celebrating her 60th Birthday at Yamashiro Restaurant in Hollywood.

The list goes on and on. If you recognize any of these song titles then you are probably a fan of Chaka Khan. Those are just a few of the classic Khan songs that most of us baby boomers grew up on. Chaka is one of the few iconic performers that people know by one name, like Cher, Madonna, or Adele. She’s a 10 time Grammy award winner who has worked with some of the biggest names in music.

On March 23 she turned 60 and is celebrating in style with 100 Days of Chaka. Commemorating 40 years in the music industry, the 100 Days of Chaka begins on her 60th birthday and runs through to the 40th anniversary of the release of her first album with the musical group Rufus. With a distinct style and sound, Chaka Khan has left an undeniable R&B and funk history of music that is distinguishably one of the best catalogs of work by any artist of that genre.

If I sound like an ardent Chaka fan, truth be known, I’m late to the party. I only became aware of the great musical repertoire of Chaka after meeting this incredible woman and falling in love with the person, not the music. Yvette (Chaka’s real name) and I first met over 25 years ago when we were both young and full of dreams and desires. A short time later we were living together and sharing some of the most incredible and amazing experiences that we still talk about to this day. When you’re with someone and almost killed, you share a bond in life that never fades. And that’s what Chaka and I share.

Years after we first drifted apart we came back together and it was as if no time had passed at all. We picked up where we left off and shared wonderful times again. I created a line of Chocolates called Chakalates. Chaka Khan Chocolates. Originally we had a chocolate rabbit called “Ain’t No Bunny” and a chocolate tool set called “Tool me Something Good.” It was a takeoff of her hit songs. We had great success and were featured in magazines and on television.

The main ingredient of Chakalates was love. They were made by my Candy Factory and they were delicious. We still do Chocolates for her and they’re still made with love. This week as we celebrate Chaka’s 60th Birthday and gear up for 100 Days of Chaka, I want to take a moment and wish Yvette a “Happy Birthday” and thank her for some wonderful memories. We’ve been “Through the Fire” but we’re still here, “Sweet Thing.”


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