Chaka Khan Talks About Weight Loss and Being a Sex Symbol

"When I was fat I was a sex symbol," she says.

Posted: 06/19/2012 11:16 AM EDT
Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan has been in the business nearly 40 years and she's as busy as ever with a new, slimmer look to boot. The singer, who will be appearing at the Essence Music Festival, touring with producer David Foster and working on a new album for next year, sat down with the Huffington Post to talk about how and what spurred her to shed the weight and what the reactions have been.

While some have speculated that Khan underwent surgery to lose the weight, she says medical issues are what motivated her to reevaluate her health.

"My weight loss had to occur because I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes and I also had high blood pressure," she says. "And I’ve been on medication for that since last year until the beginning of this year. And I ended up going, 'Oh, no, no, no, no, this is enough. I can’t live like this.'"

Khan also credits adopting her granddaughter as another reason why she has to take care of herself and stick around as long as possible to raise her.

"[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 says.

Apart from the health benefits that have come from slimming down, Khan says that it's helped professionally as well and that her new look has opened doors for her. She'll be releasing a lipstick for the holidays, a line of candles and a perfume called Khanasutra. When asked about her thoughts on being called a sex symbol, the "Every Woman" icon simply replied, "Well, I’ve always been a sex symbol. When I was fat I was a sex symbol. Some men like that, you know. But I don’t think about that. That’s so far from my mind right now."


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