Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chaka Provides

Within an entertainment world fed sex, hood anthems, and materialism, a legend graces her hometown Chicago and brings a refreshing approach towards true stardom. Ms. Chaka Khan graced the Hilton hotel under the wings of yet another successful Music Experience hosted by Mr. Dedry Jones on May 1st, 2007. She was lively, grateful, and excited about being back home. "I am all about telling my story tonight" she said with a smile. With camera crews and make up assistants within inches she prepared for her moment to shine. She sat patiently as reporters questioned her one at a time "Honey, after all of these years don't worry I'm so used to this. It becomes second nature," she assured me as I looked on in amazement. I asked her what she hoped her audience will gain from such an intimate encounter with her tonight and she gleamed with excitement as she said, "I just want people to know that I'm a real girl. I'm approachable and I will be honest with you. I know all of the things that I have achieved but that doesn't design who I am as a person. I just want people to see me for me, Yvette." She was clear and I could tell that she meant what she said. Throughout all of her other interviews she was asked what keeps her strong and motivated to carry on in this industry and she replied that "it's what I love doing and it fits me. I'm a singer and I am not ashamed of that. I will make music as long as I can and God says I can." I see the passion in her eyes and hear her assistant telling her that she has to get ready for her performance. She thanks everyone individually and talks to another journalist on the side about her passion for youth. I chime in and ask her what actually headed her campaign for exposing Autism and she says painfully that her "nephew was diagnosed with it at a young age and his personality changed and he just wasn't the same lively little boy. It was as if someone took his soul, stole his joy, and left him there aimlessly. It is disheartening to see that happen to the purest people on earth, children. I knew that he wasn't alone. I wanted to find out how we could help him and others." I couldn't help but ask her how she goes about making a difference within the educational field and she said, "it is not easy. People look at you for your records and don't realize that you could be doing this for a reason. They think it is all about doing what you can for press. Sometimes it is not; sometimes you have to do whatever is passionate in your heart. That's how you make life valuable." I questioned why it's important for celebrities to expand beyond the music industry and she said in a sweet informative voice "in all aspects of life it is important for a person to grow and do new and different things. You cannot live your whole life in a box otherwise you wont accomplish anything. You can't get anything done if you just stick to one thing. Life is about change and if you aren't changing you need to be finding ways to make this world change. I try to do different things, those things are what allow you to gain wisdom and with wisdom you just might gain someone's respect. First you have to go through something though." Her eyes shinned as she rubbed me on the back with a motherly touch as I followed her to her chair where her makeup was retouched. I asked why Autism has become so common over the years and her face became solid, almost expressing a halo of fear and resentment. She later on expressed that she feels that "when doctors began giving children vaccines with a hint of Mercury that that affected their mental and physical growing process." She moved to the edge of her seat and gripped the arm rests with all her might as she tried to maintain a low voice but emotion overshadowed her attempt as she yelled, "Why in the hell would you do that?" She then asked for her language to be excused but everyone in the room understood her frustration. Her head hung low for a few seconds and she said "one out of every one hundred and sixty something children will be diagnosed with this disease. If you know anyone with Autism you know that they can be some of the most loving, obsessive, attentive, and affectionate people, but they need help. If parents would pay attention to the signs and stop living in denial then maybe we can save more of them. It has to be hard on the parents but you have to put all that aside, pray for strength and do what is best for the child." The music experience was magical, Mr. Jones asked Ms. Khan about all aspects of her life, and the audience laughed, cried, and sang their hearts out, however, in the end, Chaka wanted to make one thing clear. She looked the audience members in the eye as she said that she "enjoys doing music, I loves helping people, but in the end know that this life is all about how you try and make a difference, that goes beyond the gold and platinum albums, that is what caps your life's legacy."

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