Chaka Khan Apologizes for Shading Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey as She Says Music Is 'Not a Competition'

Chaka Khan recently gave her unfiltered thoughts on Rolling Stone's list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time

Chaka Khan visits SiriusXM Studios; Mary J. Blige attends the 65th GRAMMY Awards; Mariah Carey attends the premiere of Tyler Perry's "A Fall From Grace"
Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey. Photo: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images; Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images; Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Chakha Khan did not hold back when asked her thoughts on the vocal abilities of fellow female singers — and now, she's apologizing for her comments.

The "Ain't Nobody" singer, 69, said in an Instagram post on Sunday that she did not mean to "cause pain or upset anyone" when she gave her candid thoughts on stars like Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Adele and more on a recent podcast.

"Recently, I was asked about a list of the 'greatest singers of all time' and instead of questioning the need for such a list, I was pitted against other artists and I took the bait," she wrote alongside a photo of herself. "As artists, we are unfairly put into 'boxes,' 'categories' or on 'lists.' Being an artist or musician is not a competition. It's a gift, for which I am truly grateful."

Khan continued, writing that she meant no harm by her comments, and remains dedicated to "empowering others."

"It was not my intention to cause pain or upset anyone. To anyone that felt this way, I sincerely apologize," she wrote. "Thank you for all the love everyone has shown me, unconditionally. I have always been about empowering others and I started a foundation for that very purpose. I will be announcing soon. Empowering all artists is most important because we truly are the architects of change...and change begins within the heart. I love you all and God bless - Chaka."

The 10-time Grammy winner was a guest on Los Angeles Magazine's The Originals podcast last week, and was asked by host Andrew Goldman about how she felt about ranking 29th on Rolling Stone's list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Khan had not viewed the list before her interview, and when Goldman told her Carey had been placed at No. 5, she replied, "That must be payola or some s--- like that."

She seemed equally confused by Adele's No. 22 ranking, as she responded with a simple, "OK, I quit," but saved her harshest criticism for Blige, with whom she mended her relationship in 2007 and later recorded the song "Disrespectful."

"They are blind as a motherf---ing bat! They need hearing aids," she said of learning Blige had ranked a few spots above her, at No. 25. "They have no eyes. They have no ears... These must be the children of Helen Keller!"

Chaka Khan attends 'CARE celebrates 'Every Woman' with Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel'
Chaka Khan. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Even so, Khan explained that she and Blige are still close: "She and I have that kind of relationship we can talk… you know, I love her, she loves me. We don't have a problem."

While Khan offered a "no comment" on Beyoncé claiming the No. 8 spot, she did have some kind words for the "Break My Soul" singer.

"She's a great singer," Khan said of Beyoncé. "She really has the opportunity to be a great singer. She has what it takes. She's got the chops. She does."

The star will celebrate her 70th birthday at the end of the month, and recently shared some words of wisdom for aspiring singers.

"I keep telling these kids, they want to know what should they do if they have a calling or a dream," Khan told Entertainment Tonight. "The thing is, if you have a calling or a dream, you're either going to realize it or you're going to crash and burn; kill yourself or kill somebody else or something, you know? You're gonna have to do it, it has to be done. Or you have to pick something else. Because the calling is just the calling. It's that simple. It's bigger than you. So, you have to do it. And if you don't, the post office is always hiring."

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