Chaka Khan showcases slimmer figure at Essence Music Festival (Photos)
Chaka Khan debuted a slimmed-down figure at the recent Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, where she performed and was honored at the McDonald's 365Black Awards.
The 59-year-old R&B legend wore a tight-fitting bright red sailor dress with white trim at the ninth annual 2012 McDonald's 365Black Awards. She wore a similar navy blue sailor dress during an appearance on "The Wendy Williams Show" about two weeks ago.
Khan was one of several honorees at the McDonald's 365Black Awards, which salutes outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. Among the others were fellow R&B singer Tamia and her husband, NBA player Grant Hill.
The singer also wore two other outfits at the Essence Music Festival. She rocked a black, long-sleeved, scoop-neck dress while performing on stage at the graduation of her Chaka Kahn Foundation's Super Life Transformation class, which she had established for women affected by Hurricane Katrina.
On the third and final day of the Essence Music Festival, the singer took the stage around 1 a.m. on Monday, following Aretha Franklin, USA Today said, adding that Khan sang "I Feel for You," "Sweet Thing," "Tell Me Something Good" and "I'm Every Woman," made more famous by the late Whitney Houston in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard. The singer wore a black, sequined top over tight-fitting black pants.
Khan's face also appeared much more defined than it did a year ago during her appearance at the 2011 Essence Music Festival (see bottom photo). The singer told Essence magazine last month that she had lost 60 pounds since October 2011 and was dropping about five a month.
"I knew I couldn't go out like this so I just fasted for like a month, then I went vegan and went off meats and all dairy and anything with eyes," she said. "If I have a craving for a little baked fish or something I might eat it. But that's about it. I've mostly been doing a lot of high-protein foods and a lot of vegetables and exercise."
"You know, I had Diabetes Type-2 and high blood pressure," she added. "I adopted my 10-year-old granddaughter last year. I have to be there for her."
In December 2011, Khan and her sister were granted permanent custody of Daija Jade Holland, the daughter of the singer's son Damien and his girlfriend. The two women had said in a petition filed at a Los Angeles court that the child's parents were incapable of taking care of the girl because they were abusing drugs. Khan had herself battled substance abuse in the past.
Khan also showcased a slimmer figure in a slinky, shiny gown at the 2012 BET Awards earlier this month and in a in a sparkly catsuitsparkly catsuit at the finale of the 11th season of "American Idol" in May. Barrino was also one of the performers at the Essence Music Festival.
(Pictured: Clockwise from left: Chaka Khan appears at the 2012 McDonald's 365Black Awards at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans on July 6, 2012. / Chaka Khan performs with Sherelle Mouton, right, a graduate of the Chaka Khan Foundation's Super Life Transformation class that the singer established for women affected by Hurricane Katrina, during a graduation ceremony at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 7, 2012. Chaka Khan performs at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 8, 2012 / Chaka Khan performs at the 2011 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans on July 2, 2011. / Credits: Alstek Photography / AP Photos / Cheryl Gerber / Invision / Gerald Herbert)