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Rufus

AKA: Chaka Khan and Rufus, Rufus & Chaka, and Ask Rufus

About Rufus

Rufus is an American band, known for being the launching pad for their lead vocalist-turned-soul superstar Chaka Khan.

The band originally named “Ask Rufus” shortened their name by the time they made their rootsy, soulful, debut album Rufus in 1973. Their cover of “Maybe Your Baby” on that album attracted the attention of its writer Stevie Wonder.

Wonder in turn wrote an original tune for their next album Rags To Rufus (1974) that would put the band on the map. “Tell Me Something Good” was a smash and earned the band their first Grammy.

That same year, the band released their third album Rufusized featuring their disco-friendly single “Once You Get Started”.

The band scored another huge hit with their Chaka Khan-penned “Sweet Thing” on 1975’s Rufus featuring Chaka Khan album.

After churning out 3 RIAA Gold Certified albums, Rufus hit Platinum with 1977’s Ask Rufus and fiery singles like “At Midnight (My Love Will Lift You Up)” and “Hollywood”.

With the attention their lead singer was receiving, it was only natural that she would pursue a solo career. While remaining a member of Rufus, she made her debut with her Chaka album and its international disco smash and feminist anthem “I’m Every Woman” in 1978.

Despite Chaka’s solo success and ever-brewing tensions within the ranks of Rufus, she went back into the studio with them later that year for Street Player featuring the hit single “Stay”.

Once tensions finally reached a head, Rufus ventured out in 1979 to do their Numbers album without Chaka. Though the album yielded no hits, Chaka would rejoin them for another album that same year. For Masterjam, the band switched things up and brought in superproducer Quincy Jones. The move paid off with one more confirmed hit, the funky “Do You Love What You Feel”.

In 1981, the band released a pair of disappointing albums: one without Chaka Khan (Party Til You’re Broke) and one with (Camouflage). The band split with their label MCA Records after these two releases.

Though a new recording contract with Warner Bros. didn’t net them any hits with their third Chaka-less album Seal In Red in 1983, the band had one more trick up their sleeve that year: a live album.

The band’s last album, a live double-record titled Stompin' At The Savoy not only featured Chaka Khan, it also gave them a #1 R&B single, the now-classic hit “Ain’t Nobody”.

Though Rufus would never reunite on record, the band has continued to tour with various replacement lead vocalists, including for a time, Chaka Khan’s daughter Indira Khan.

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