She shocked viewers with her slimmed-down, catsuited appearance at the “American Idol” finale last month, and Chaka Khan is opening up on exactly how she achieved her new look.
The legendary singer credits the change to her new vegan diet, which included a four-month juice fast. Now 60 pounds lighter, Khan told HuffPo that the weight loss was necessary to manage her medical conditions.
“My weight loss had to occur, because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure,” she said. “And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year.”
Khan also explained that she needed to improve her health to care for her granddaughter.
“I ended up going, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.’ And I have a new little daughter to raise [my granddaughter], I adopted her so I have to be here…[She] was really my first and major influence to lose weight and get healthy so I can be here for her. What I did was stopped eating and went on a strict unconditional fast for a couple of months. And went off meat, became vegan, stopped all the dairy, stopped all the meat.”
Khan’s also approaching her career with new vigor, now that she’s in better shape. She’s celebrating 40 years in the industry by recording new music, as well as pursuing other opportunities.
“I’m not playing it so safe. I feel like I have no boundaries, musically, right now. There are none. Any restrictions that I place upon [the music], I place them on myself…A lot of doors have opened significantly for me since I dropped the weight. And I have mixed reactions to that, but I’m going to strike the iron while it’s hot. So there’s been lots of meetings with lots of people. I’m coming out with a perfume line called, Khanasutra, a line of candles, and Chaka Lips for the holidays.”
The one weight-loss side effect that she’s not concerned with? Her status as a sex symbol.
“Well, I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat I was a sex symbol. Some men like it that, you know. But I don’t think about that. That’s so far from my mind right now.”