Chaka Khan to Perform at Face Forward Gala Fighting Domestic Violence

Face Forward Celebrates 6th Annual Gala With Grammy Award Winning Musician, Chaka Khan.

Face Forward, a charity that provides pro-bono reconstructive surgery for victims of domestic violence, is elated to announce 10X Grammy winner, Chaka Khan, as the headlining performer for this year’s “Moulin Rouge” inspired gala. The 6th annual gala will be held at Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, on September 19th 2015. The annual event is the charity’s most important fundraising and awareness-building event of the year, helping to raise money for patients’ travel and aftercare. Past years have heralded intimate performances from Grammy winning artists, Brian McNight and Macy Gray, with celebrity attendees such as Lana Parrilla, Missi Pyle, Chris McKenna, Bonnie Somerville, Jeff Probst, Erik Valdez and “Sugar” Shane Mosely. However, the true stars of this spectacular fundraising night will be the survivors of domestic violence and the supporters that it takes to end the cycle of abuse.

Domestic violence survivor and Face Forward founder, Deborah Alessi is overjoyed to have a music icon such as Chaka Khan involved in this year’s event, saying “I have always loved Chaka Khan and found meaning in her song, “I’m Every Woman.” We are honored to have her perform at this year’s Face Forward gala.”  Khan has been helping women and children for many years through her own foundation, the Chaka Khan Foundation and is looking forward to joining the fight to end domestic violence, “I am honored to be involved with such an inspirational charity and hope that through our hard work we are able to give a voice to the innocent victims of this tragic epidemic.”

"I have always loved Chaka Khan and found meaning in her song, "I'm Every Woman." We are honored to have her perform at this year's Face Forward gala."

Deborah, Alessi

About Face Forward:

Face Forward founder and CEO Mrs. Deborah Alessi founded Face Forward in 2007. Mrs. Alessi is a survivor of domestic violence and a true advocate of this worthy cause. To help other survivors get a second chance at life, Mrs. Alessi recruited her husband and renowned facial reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Alessi M.D. The couple work constantly to help victim 'face forward' to the rest of their lives. Face Forward is a 501© non-profit organization. Since its creation Face Forward has worked with other advocates around the nation to identify victims of domestic violence who are working towards recovery, yet carry the physical evidence of past abuse. Face Forward does more than just provide pro bono reconstructive surgery to adults and children who have suffered from traumatic and physical abuse; they also create a welcoming and safe environment for the victims to start a new life and reclaim their confidence. With domestic violence occurring every 15 seconds in the United States, Face Forward strives to alleviate the internal and external scars of victims and those affected. Ninety percent of all rape and abuse cases lead to physical disfigurement and Face Forward provides treatment to victims who are not able to afford medical assistance.

About Chaka Khan:

In 1999, Chaka established the Chaka Khan Foundation, which includes a variety of programs and initiatives that assist women and children at risk. In 2013, the Chaka Khan Foundation combined forces with Community Partners to continue and expand its reach into the community, where it continues to do so.   In July, 2012, Chaka received the McDonald Corporation’s 365Black Award, honoring her for her leadership of the Chaka Khan Foundation. Besides being a successful musician and a devoted philanthropist, she is also a successful entrepreneur, having  launched a line of gourmet chocolates, Chakalates, which was sold in 20 Neiman Marcus stores around the country. In 2013, she introduced the Khana Sutra candle, the first product in a fragrance line for men, women and the home.

Chaka, is also the recipient of numerous awards for her extraordinary achievements in music and entertainment including a street named after her in Chicago (her hometown) – “Chaka Khan Way,” a BET Honors Award, induction into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame; a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and with the United Negro College Fund’s An Evening of Stars Tribute; a Soul Train Legend Award, a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, the GRAMMY® Honors Award from the NARAS Chicago Chapter, a World Music Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA.

Chaka Khan was born Yvette Stevens in 1953. She grew up in Chicago, Illinois, the eldest of five siblings. As teenagers, she and her sister Bonnie formed a singing group, The Crystalettes, with two friends from school, and Chaka later sang with several local groups before she became the lead singer for the band Ask Rufus, which would become Rufus. With Chaka the group immediately began turning out hit after hit, and it was the beginning of a legendary music career.

Living for a time in London and Germany, she currently resides in Los Angeles. She has two children, Indira Milini and Damien. Her life and career are chronicled in her autobiography, Through the Fire, which was published by Rodale Books in 2003 and is currently being updated for re-release and adapted into a screenplay.   Another book featuring the music and lyrics of many of her hit songs, The Chaka Khan Songbook, was released this past December.

Chaka Khan recently celebrated her 40th anniversary in music and entertainment.  A documentary series on her, “Being,” premiered on the Centric Channel and recent career highlights include tour dates around the world (London, Singapore, Prague, Dubai, NYC, et al), a performance on The Wendy Williams Show, an event in her honor at NARAS/Grammy headquarters in Los Angeles, an appearance with Sam Smith on VH1, special performances for Ebony and Essence Magazines, and being named Grand Marshal for Chicago's Bud Billiken Parade, the largest and oldest African American parade.

Chaka is currently at work on a new CD, set for release later in 2016. 

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