The producers of The
Color Purple are pleased to announce that legendary eight-time Grammy Award
winner Chaka Khan, four-time Grammy Award winner and gospel singer BeBe Winans,
and 2007 "American Idol" finalist LaKisha Jones will make their
Broadway debuts in the smash hit musical starting Wednesday, January 9, 2008,
at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway).
Chaka Khan will play Sofia
opposite BeBe Winans' Harpo. Chaka's
highly anticipated new album, "Funk This" was released yesterday, September 25
and BeBe's new album, "Cherch" will be released October 30. LaKisha Jones will
play the Church Soloist, who opens the show with the rousing gospel number "Mysterious Ways"
at all evening performances, and Sofia
at all matinee performances. Jones' first performance will be December 19,
2007, and will play the Church Soloist at all performances through January 6,
Color Purple will begin its
third year on Broadway November 1, 2007.
Chaka Khan celebrates her 35th anniversary in the business
making her Broadway debut as Sofia
Color Purple. Chaka
formed her first singing group when she was 11, at 20 she was the singer for
R&B, soul and funk band "Rufus," and five years later became a breakout solo artist. Known for
a catalog of classic hits: "Tell Me Something Good," "Sweet
Thing," "Once You Get Started," "Everlasting Love,"
"Do You Love What You Feel," "Ain't Nobody," "I'm
Every Woman," "I Feel For You," "Through The Fire,"
"Clouds", "I'll Be Good To You", and "Whatcha Gonna Do
For Me," Chaka has worked in practically every genre of music from pop,
R&B, rock, disco, world music and fusion to jazz, rap, hip-hop, and
classical working with a diverse list of distinguished collaborators. The eight-time Grammy winner has just released her newest album, "Funk This," an extensive Khan
catalog of close to a dozen solo albums, spanning almost twenty years of
recording. Chaka Khan truly claims the title 'renaissance woman' with her
work as an author, humanitarian and philanthropist. Her autobiography, "Through The Fire," was
acclaimed for its soul-bearing candor and honesty, and her commitment to women
and children at risk is seen through her countless hours of dedication to the
Chaka Khan Foundation. Formed in 1999,
the Foundations' initiative has involved a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School district
mentoring 5th and 6th grade students who are college-bound. Chaka Khan is the winner of London's Best Actress Capitol Radio
Listener's Poll Award for Mama, I Want to Sing, Soul Train's Lena Horne Lady of
Soul Career Achievement Award, BET's Lifetime Achievement Award, and a Diamond Life Award of Excellence from the
International Association of African-American Music. Chaka is also responsible for her own line of
chocolates, "Chakalates," and the guiding force behind her own Earthsong
Benjamin "BeBe" Winans hails from the legendary
Winans family, known as the first family of gospel music. Winans is known as the groundbreaking inspirational,
R&B, and Gospel vocalist, songwriter, and producer, who has won four Grammy
Awards, ten Dove Awards, six Stellar Awards, two NAACP Awards and a Soul Train
Award. A multi-faceted artist, BeBe not
only has a successful recording career, but also hosts a highly successful
syndicated radio show. BeBe began his music career as a background
singer for his famous brothers (The Winans).
In 1987, he partnered with his sister CeCe, and formed one of the most
successful gospel groups in history. The
dynamic duo amassed an amazing run of hit songs and released the
platinum-selling albums "Heaven" and "I'm Lost Without You," and also scored a
plethora of number one hit singles including "Addictive Love" and
"I'll Take You There." BeBe and CeCe have not only had great success
on gospel play lists, but their music has been and still is in heavy rotation
on R&B radio as well. His fifth solo album "Cherch," will be released October
30 on his own label, The Movement Group (TMG). The soulful tenor co-produced and arranged
all fourteen album tracks and he put his writing cap on for three songs
including the first single, "No Sir."
BeBe has also recorded songs with such entertainers as Stevie Wonder,
Brian McKnight and Whitney Houston, and his nearly four-year-old nationally syndicated radio gospel show, The
BeBe Winans Radio Show, has
given him the
opportunity to interview such
artists as Chaka Kahn and Oprah Winfrey.
As an actor, BeBe appeared in 2003's The Manchurian Candidate. BeBe's next project, BET's "Sunday's
Best," premieres October 2, 2007.
"Sunday's Best" is a gospel version of "American
Idol" where BeBe will serve as one of the judges.