Chaka Khan was born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, Illinois. Raised in Chicago's rough South Side housing projects, she is the eldest of five children to Charles Stevens and Sandra Coleman. Her sister Yvonne Stevens later became a successful musician in her own right under the nameTaka Boom. Her only brother, Mark Stevens, who formed the funk group Aurra, also became a successful musician. She has two other sisters, Zaheva Stevens and Tammy McCrary, who is her current manager. Unlike many of her musical contemporaries, Chaka Khan was raised as aCatholic. Khan attributed her love of music to her grandmother, who introduced her to jazz music as a child. Chaka Khan became a fan of R&B music as a preteen and at eleven formed her first all-female singing group the Crystalettes, which also included her sister Taka. In the late 1960s, Chaka Khan and her sister formed the vocal group Shades of Black and joined the Black Panther Party after befriending fellow member, activist and Chicago native Fred Hampton in 1967. While a member, she was given a name change to Chaka Adunne Aduffe Hodarhi Karifi by an African shaman. In 1969, she left the Panthers, dropped out of high school, having attended Calumet High School and Kenwood High School (now Kenwood Academy),and began to perform in small groups around the Chicago area, first performing with the group Lyfe, which included her then boyfriend Hassan Khan, whom she'd later marry. Chaka Khan was asked to replace the late Baby Huey of Baby Huey & the Babysitters after Huey's untimely death, in 1970. The group disbanded a year later. While performing in local bands in 1972, Chaka Khan was spotted by two members of a new group called Rufus and soon won her position in the group. The group later signed with ABC Records in 1973. Prior to Chaka Khan signing with the label, she married her on-and-off boyfriend Hassan Khan, changing her stage name to Chaka Khan.