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Elev8 Chaka Khan surprised Wendy Williams on her television show to talk about her program that she will be celebrating at The Essence Music Festival. The past few years seem to have been dedicated to getting healthy. Earlier this year Elev8 was able to show you the first pictures of her new look in Wow! Look At Chaka Khan! – She Shed 60 Pounds & Has A New Outlook! In February, Khan, who has been sober for eight years, opened up about her battle with substance abuse in a segment of ABC News’ “Cause Celeb” with celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch.

“I’m just a human being and scared most of the time like everybody else is,” she said, referencing her public struggle with drug and alcohol use. “I don’t regret anything in my life because… it made me the amazing chick that I am.”

Chaka tells Wendy about her Essence Music Festival Event and how it moved her here:

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Chaka is involved wholeheartedly in a program called the SuperLife Transformation was begun at last year’s festival, and on Saturday singer Chaka Khan will speak at a public “commencement” ceremony for the participants, 33 local women who completed a program (run by the Chaka Khan Foundation, Essence and IWES—the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies) built around helping each one determine and achieve her personal goals. Read: Chaka Khan:”Whitney Was In Hollywood Too Early!” The connection between the program and the festival is no coincidence: SuperLife was born last year at the Essence Fest, when Chaka Khan visited the city for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.”I felt a very strange vibe,” says Khan, who asked the women who worked at her hotel how they were doing—and learned that, even years after the hurricane, they were struggling to cope with losing their homes and, in many cases, their families. “I heard such devastating stuff,” she says, “and I thought, ‘I can’t just come down here and sing a song and leave.’” She says she approached Essence about finding a way to help, and the connection to IWES was made. When Khan returned this spring to see the women who had taken part in the program, she says it was like meeting new people: they had closed on houses, started businesses—and one had even formed a band, with whom Khan will perform. Following this weekend’s graduation ceremony, that first group of participants will serve as mentors to the next class.

Chaka Khan Is Every Woman! [VIDEO]  was originally published on