To start, Chaka said that “if you have a calling... [it] can’t be denied.”
“Either you answer that calling in any way possible, or you’re going to spontaneously combust,” the legend said.
However, Chaka also said that it’s always good to have a backup plan.
“Have your heart’s desire and the calling that you know come to a higher place. But then find the next best thing to that,” she added. “So that you have some choices in life. It’s always good to have a what-if.”
“I call it leaving room for ifs and maybes,” Jennifer added.
While with Rufus, Chaka told Jennifer that Stevie Wonder came to their studio session “with some offerings.”
“First couple of offerings he played, I didn’t like and told him,” Chaka recalled. “‘You got anything else?’”
Stevie played a second tune, which Chaka didn’t like either.
Stevie then asked Chaka for her birth sign — “Aries, Pisces,” she said — to which he replied, “Oh, I got your song.”
After Stevie played a riff, which would become Rufus’ 1974 hit song “Tell Me Something Good,” Chaka said, “This will work.”
And the rest is history!
It Took Chaka Some Time to Find the Real Meaning Behind ‘I’m Every Woman’
When Jennifer asked Chaka if she knew she was creating “something timeless” when she recorded 1978’s “I’m Every Woman,” Chaka responded, “I knew I was creating something.”
However, Chaka explained that it “took me a long, long time to find some kind of comfort singing something like, ‘I’m every woman.’”
“I was taking it literally, which is wrong,” she added. “I was reading it from an insecure place.”
Once she got comfortable singing the tune, Chaka realized that the song was about everyone “collectively” feeling that they are “every woman.”
“[The song is] talking about it in a collective way, a plural way. We are all every woman and it’s all in us.”
“I’m Every Woman” was later covered in 1992 by Chaka’s colleague Whitney Houston.
Chaka Turned Down a Big Movie!
When JHud asked about any big projects she turned down, Chaka said the iconic 1985 film “The Color Purple.”
“[Director Steven Spielberg] came to me and said he wanted me to do this movie. I was about 22,” she said.
However, Chaka admitted she “was afraid” to participate in a scripted project.
“I was like, ‘Oh God, a movie?’ I detested school and tests and studying. [I thought to myself,] ‘That means I have to learn a script.’”
Chaka also said that she would have played the character of Celie, a role that was eventually given to Whoopi Goldberg.
“We need that, y’all,” Jenn said about the movie that could’ve been.
Jennifer also appeared in “The Color Purple” when the classic story appeared on Broadway in 2015. In addition to this role being her Broadway debut, Jennifer won the 2017 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for providing vocals as the character of Shug Avery.