Rufus & Chaka Khan
Superstar funksters with a long run of hits in the 1970s and '80s, Rufus also launched the career of the inimitable songstress Chaka Khan. Founded in Chicago in 1970, Rufus went through several name and personnel changes before really hitting their stride. Their self-titled debut came and went with little fanfare in '73, but the group had caught the ear of Stevie Wonder, who wrote "Tell Me Something Good" specifically for them. That song became their first major hit, followed by "You Got The Love" (both off their second LP Rags To Rufus). With their rollicking funk instrumentation and Chaka's captivating vocals, they cranked out more great records and chart hits, now going by the name Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. She eventually went solo, and Rufus continued to release new material both with and without her, though the two sans-Chaka albums both flopped. Their last LP together, 1983's double disc Stompin' At The Savoy featured three sides of live recordings and a few brand-new studio tracks. One of the new jams, "Ain't Nobody" raced up the charts in the summer of '83, giving the group their fifth and final No. 1 single. The members of Rufus went their separate ways, and Chaka Khan continued her reign the following year with her smash hit "I Feel For You." She recorded solo throughout the next two decades, and was introduced to a new generation thanks to Kanye West sampling her for his 2003 jaw-wired-shut rap "Through The Wire."