Something Good: Chaka Khan To Headline Rose Parade As Grand Marshal

File: Chaka Khan performs live at Sydney Festival 2014 at the Domain on Jan. 11, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)

There have been some illustrious grand marshals for Pasadena's New Year's Day tradition over the years, from Frank Sinatra to George Lucas. Taking the reins this year: the Queen of Funk, Chaka Khan.

She'll be performing as part of the Rose Parade's opening spectacular before it kicks off Jan. 1. She's known as the singer behind the anthem "I'm Every Woman," her biggest hit coming later with a cover of Prince's "I Feel For You," which left its mark on the early days of MTV.

This year's Rose Parade theme is the Melody of Life, so they decided that Khan would be a fitting choice. She misspoke at the ceremony announcing she'd be grand marshal, referring to the theme as "the Rhythm of Life" — but it make sense for a singer whose career has been all about songs with a beat.

"I remember for years looking at the Rose Bowl Parade, but not really looking at the Rose Bowl Parade, do you know what I mean?" Khan said at the ceremony, echoing the experience of a lot of viewers who put it on in the background during their New Year's Day festivities.

"I'm a little bit scared, I gotta tell you the truth," Khan said. "But fear for me has always been a good thing. If I'm scared of something, if something frightens me a wee bit, I'm all about it. I go to conquer."

Khan's won 10 Grammys and sold around 70 million records. She first broke through doing vocals for funk band Rufus, but became a cultural icon as a solo performer. Rufus is up this year for potential induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — it's their third time being nominated. Maybe the Rose Parade will be a lucky charm.

She gave a sneak peek at what her fashion game for the event may look like — she said she's thinking about a purple rose hairpiece.


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