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Chicago names street for singer Chaka Khan

July 28, 2013 at 11:23 AM   |   Comments

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CHICAGO, July 28 (UPI) -- Singer-songwriter Chaka Khan, honored in Chicago with a street named for her, said her hometown is "extremely racist" but has "much to offer."

The 10-time Grammy winner was scheduled to headline a free concert in Millennium Park Sunday, one day after the city named a South Side street "Chaka Khan Way," WBBM-TV, Chicago reported.

"I can't believe my name is hanging there under Blackstone (Avenue)," Khan said, as she celebrated her 60th birthday and her 40th year in the music industry, the report said.

The free concert is "a way of saying thank you for the city naming a street after me," she said.

Addressing ongoing violence in Chicago, which has drawn national attention amid a debate over gun violence, Khan told the Chicago Sun-Times violence in the city "has been going on forever."

"Many of our great minds are incarcerated right now. Chicago is a very progressive, artistic city; on the other hand, it is extremely racist. 'Fragmented' is a good word for Chicago, when it comes to social issues and boundary areas. I was very affected by that. But the city has so much to offer," she said.

Khan -- who canceled a July 20 concert in Miami to protest the not guilty verdict in neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman's second-degree murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin -- adopted her name in honor of an African warrior, Shaka Zulu, while she was in the Black Panthers, the Sun Times reported.

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