Photo Coverage: Chaka Khan Portrait Unveiled at Tony's

February 22
4:06 PM 2008

On Wednesday February 21, at theatre district hangout Tony's di Napoli, Tony's DiNapoli Times Square unveiled a portrait honoring the Chaka Khan from the musical The Color Purple; the picture, by acclaimed artist Dan May, welcomed to Tony's Wall of Fame. Radio personality Valerie Smaldone hosted the event. Tony's is the Times Square restaurant that has begun a tradition of having original oil painting portraits of performers hung all around the restaurant.

Chaka Khan joined the cast of The Color Purple in the role of Sofia on January 9, 2008 at the Broadway Theatre (1681 Broadway).

Chaka Khan celebrates her 35th anniversary in the business making her Broadway debut as Sofia in The Color Purple.  Chaka formed her first singing group when she was 11, at 20 she was the singer for R&B, soul and funk band "Rufus," and five years later became a breakout solo artist.  Known for  a catalog of classic hits: "Tell Me Something Good," "Sweet Thing," "Once You Get Started," "Everlasting Love," "Do You Love What You Feel," "Ain't Nobody," "I'm Every Woman," "I Feel For You," "Through The Fire," "Clouds", "I'll Be Good To You", and "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me," Chaka has worked in practically every genre of music from pop, R&B, rock, disco, world music and fusion to jazz, rap, hip-hop, and classical working with a diverse list of distinguished collaborators.  The multiple Grammy-winner has just released her newest album, "Funk This," an extensive Khan catalog of close to a dozen solo albums, spanning almost twenty years of recording.

Photos by Peter James Zielinski

Tony Di Napoli's in Time Square

Bruce Dimpflmaier

Valerie Smaldone

Chaka Khan and Valerie Smaldone

The painting is unveiled

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

Janet Carroll of the Society of Singers

Charles Wallert, president of Society of Singers Chapter East

Chaka Khan and Valerie Smaldone

Chaka Khan and Phoebe Snow

The Cast of The Color Purple

Alton Fitzgeral White and Chaka Khan

The Cast of The Color Purple

Chaka Khan and Phoebe Snow

Emil Calcano, Chaka Khan, Valerie Smaldone, Janet Carroll, and Bruce Dimpflmaier

Chaka Khan

Valerie Smaldone and Phoebe Snow

Freddy Jackson and Chaka Khan

Randy Jones, Chaka Khan, and Phoebe Snow

Freddy Jackson

Chaka Khan and Phoebe Snow

Chaka Khan

Phoebe Snow

Randy Jones and Phoebe Snow

Emil Calcano, Janet Carroll, and Charles Wallert

Gavin Gregory

Randy Jones

Bruce Dimpflmaier and Janet Carroll

Valerie Smaldone

A final shot of the painting

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Peter James Zielinski As an Equity actor, Peter is photographing the industry from the inside out. He has performed in numerous shows regionally, sung a duet with Richard Chamberlain in the National Tour of "Scrooge," and starred in "The Zoo Project" which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. When not on stage, he can be found photographing headshots and live theatre in NYC, Chicago and LA. As an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, he also acts as a retouching artist for photographers city-wide. For more information, please visit: