Chi Coltrane

Last updated

Chi Coltrane
Chi Coltrane 1974.jpg
Coltrane on TopPop in 1974
Background information
  • Songwriter
  • pianist
  • singer
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active1972–present
Coltrane in 2009 Donauinselfest 20090627 Chi Coltrane series v.a.jpg
Coltrane in 2009

Chi Coltrane (born November 6, 1948) is an American rock/gospel singer, songwriter and pianist.


She first came to notice in 1972 with the single "Thunder and Lightning". Her 1973 song "Go Like Elijah" was a number one-hit in The Netherlands. [1]


Chi Coltrane began as a performer in Chicago. She made her overseas debut when she starred as guest star of the US at the International Rock Festival for 50,000 people in Rio de Janeiro. She returned to the U.S. where Clive Davis signed her to CBS/Sony. Her first hit was in the U.S.: "Thunder and Lightning"; [2] hitting #1 in NYC and various cities across the United States; and reaching #17 nationwide. Coltrane had two top 40 hits in Germany, hitting #1 in the Netherlands and holding that position for a month with the original "Go Like Elijah."

Coltrane made many guest appearances on American Network TV specials, including NBC's The Tonight Show.

Coltrane appeared with The Who, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, and Rod Stewart. During the 1970s and 1980s in America, Chi was once dubbed "The First Lady of Rock"; and in Europe, she was once given the title "Queen of Rock"; where she was also voted "Top Female Artist" for two consecutive years,[ citation needed ] and held the #1 position in the "Music Express Popularity" poll. Chi's lifetime work has garnered many awards and accolades, both in America and abroad, including the European Gold Hammer and Silver Hammer for top Female artist. In 1999 Chi was honored in Los Angeles.[ citation needed ]

Coltrane was listed in the European "100 Best Musicians of the CENTURY" list.  Rolling Stone described Coltrane as a "rip-snorting female vocalist/composer/producer whose performances are nothing less than searing."  Paul Buckmaster, referring to her new song "Yesterday, Today & Forever" said; "I had to stop a few times while working on the string arrangement of 'Yesterday, Today & Forever' because of the profound emotions it stirred up in me - it is that great of a song. I think this may be the most beautiful song I have ever heard."[ citation needed ]


Studio albums

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"Thunder and Lightning" is a 1972 song by American singer and pianist Chi Coltrane. It was the first release from her eponymous debut album, peaking at No. 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No. 15 on Cash Box and No. 12 on Record World. It also charted at No. 18 on the Canadian RPM magazine singles chart.

"Go Like Elijah" is a 1973 song by Chi Coltrane. It was a number one hit in the Netherlands at the time. It stayed in the Dutch Top 40 for one month. In the Netherlands it was released with "It's Really Come to This" as its B-side.


  1. "Chi Coltrane about her spiritual life, Michael Jackson's death, Elvis Presley and life behind the music biz scene". July 21, 2009.
  2. Donovan, Charles (October 27, 2017). "Dexterous in Life and Music: Pianist/Singer-songwriter Chi Coltrane, PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved December 10, 2021.