Recording artist Chaka Khan, a 10-time Grammy Award winner, will serve as grand marshal of the 2019 Rose Parade, it was announced before an appreciative crowd this morning at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses headquarters.
Tournament of Roses President Gerald Feeny, who chose the theme of this year’s parade, “The Melody of Life,” noted in making the announcement the appropriateness of inviting Khan, also known as the “Queen of Funk,” to serve in the honorary role.
Outlining the history of her performing career, which has included not only singing, but acting, Feeny said “no genre could resist [Khan’s] incredible talent.”
Stepping out onto the Tournament House front steps to a round of applause, the 65-year-old Khan, also known for playing the role of Sofia on Broadway in “The Color Purple,” said she felt honored to have been named the grand marshal.
“Thank you all … I hope you like me,” she said, somewhat shyly. Receiving a warm response, Khan said she had been giving some thought to how she’ll approach the New Year’s Day celebration.
“I’m thinking now about [wearing] a rose hairpiece — something purple.”