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'Queen of Funk' Chaka Khan named 2019 Rose Parade grand marshal

'Queen of Funk' Chaka Khan named 2019 Rose Parade grand marshal
Chaka Khan performs at "Joni's Jazz" concert at the Hollywood Bowl in 2011. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

Chaka Khan, the 10-time Grammy-winning singer known as the “Queen of Funk,” will be the grand marshal of the 2019 Rose Parade, organizers announced Wednesday.

The 130th Rose Parade, held on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, will feature the theme “The Melody of Life.”

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Rose Parade President Gerald Freeny told the crowd that gathered on the front lawn of the Tournament House in Pasadena for the announcement that the theme was selected in celebration of music, which acts as a universal language and brings people together. It was fitting, he said, that they would choose a musical artist as the grand marshal.

“It is so appropriate," Khan said. “I’m so honored. This is something so new and different for me.”

Khan, 65, whose musical career spans five decades, won her most recent Grammy awards in 2008 for best R&B album and best R&B performance by a duo or group.

The Chicago-born singer skyrocketed to stardom as the lead singer of the funk band Rufus in the 1970s before she launched a solo career. The multi-platinum artist’s hits include “I’m Every Woman,” “I Feel For You,” and “Tell Me Something Good.” Khan also played the role of Sofia in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple.”

Khan will ride through the city in the parade and participate in the celebration before the Rose Bowl game.

“At any rate, we’re going to have fun,” she said.

10:55 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Khan and additional details about the singer.

This article was originally published at 10 a.m.

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