Lifestyle Style Chaka Khan Talks New Wig Line and Why She Transitioned to Wearing Hair Extensions The legendary singer just released Chaka by Indique hair line and is revealing the story behind her own iconic look By Janine Rubenstein Janine Rubenstein Instagram Twitter Janine Rubenstein is Editor-at-Large at PEOPLE and host of PEOPLE Every Day podcast, a daily dose of breaking news, pop culture and heartwarming human interest stories. Formerly Senior Editor of music content, she's also covered crime, human interest and television news throughout her many years with the brand. Prior to PEOPLE she's written for Essence, The Cape Times newspaper and Los Angeles Magazine among others. On-screen Rubenstein can be found featured on shows like Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight and she routinely hosts PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly's star-studded Red Carpet Live specials. Follow the San Francisco native, Black Barbie collector and proud mom of two on Instagram and Twitter @janinerube People Editorial Guidelines Published on May 3, 2019 10:30 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Courtesy Chaka by Indique Hair Chaka Khan is the reigning “Queen of Funk” and her voice is known the world over—but so is her iconic look. “They used to call me ‘Lips, hips and hair,’ says the music legend, recalling how radio hosts would introduce her in the early days of her nearly five decades-long career. Along with her powerful voice, her famously big hair earned its own place in the spotlight. As she says, “That’s part of my persona.” `Now at 66, the star tells PEOPLE she is finally ready to reveal her hair secrets to her legion of fans. “I figured at this time in my life, why not,” says Khan. “There are little tricks of the trade. I think it’s time to share now.” Stylist George R. Fuller and Chaka Khan. Courtesy Chaka by Indique Hair ‘Queen of Funk’ Chaka Khan on the First Time She Ever Stepped on Stage: ‘Somebody Might Remember, but I Don’t!’ On Tuesday the “Through the Fire” and “I’m Every Woman” singer released her first ever hair collection, Chaka by Indique. Partnering with Indique Hair along with her longtime stylist George R. Fuller, she commissioned two wig styles—”IKhanic Curl” and “IKhanic Straight”—both inspired by her signature mane. Chaka by Indique – IKhanic Curly. Courtesy Chaka by Indique Hair Chaka by Indique – IKhanic Straight. Courtesy Chaka by Indique Hair Bold and beautiful hair is in her DNA. “I came from Chicago. We were very Afro-centric. I think that was the beginning I think for me just doing big hair. I refused to go to the hairdressers and get my hair done. I said ‘No’, I’ll just be what I am.” Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan Cover Prince at Minnesota Tribute Show But as the years and her busy career went on, Khan says Fuller is the one who convinced her to try something new. “It used to take hours to do her hair, so I would say to her, ‘Why don’t you just let me get the hair pieces,” says Fuller. “Her [natural] hair is thick. She has a lot of hair.” Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns Experimenting with hair extensions in the late ’90s, “At first she was paranoid about it,” recalls Fuller. “It took me to 2002, 2003 before she started getting comfortable with it. But it frees up a lot of your time.” As for the one-time stigma around wigs and hair extensions, Fuller says “Long gone are those days. That’s the beauty of hair, it’s an accessory.” Now he says, “Nobody’s trippin’!” Khan couldn’t agree more: “Let me have my weave, my prized pieces baby!” With her new Indique hair line she hopes to help other women find a look that works. “Sometimes I see women and their hair pieces just aren’t right. I said, ‘Let’s do this for women everywhere.'” Courtesy Chaka by Indique Hair “Chaka’s always been my hair icon,” says Ericka Dotson, Indique’s co-founder and Creative Director who was eager for the partnership. “Anytime a woman steps out with big hair, as black women we’d say ‘Okay, Chaka!’ I’m thrilled to offer that experience to everyone.” For Khan herself, it’s all about simplicity. “It’s comfort first and feeling secure,” she says of her personal beauty philosophy. She’s gearing up to release new music and excited to soon perform her hits with the Philharmonic Orchestra. “Feeling natural,” she says, “and looking as natural as possible, that’s the most important thing.” Chaka by Indique is available at www.chakabyindique.com, www.indiquehair.com, and at Indique Hair Boutiques.