Chubby Checker simultaneously lost his own heart to a beauty queen and won the hearts of millions with his music. Despite all odds, they have blissfully married her for 58 years.
Chubby Checker has had 34 hits and published the song that impacted the dance craze culture of the 1960s, so don’t call him a one-hit-wonder. In the same period, he was the only artist to have five albums in the top-12 ranking.
When he went to one of Dick Clark’s auditions, they gave him the nickname Chubby Checker in honor of Fats Domino, and the name stuck. In January 1962, Checker was performing in the Philippines when he observed a stunning woman wearing a polka-dot bathing suit.
Chubby Checker with his wife, Catharina Lodders, at The Cutting Room on March 6, 2008, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
In actuality, that girl was a beauty queen. Dutchwoman Catharina Lodders represented her country as Miss World in 1962. The musician claimed that when he first met Loddars, he had marriage in mind. He fell in love with her, and they began dating. Despite being from different cultures, they were able to communicate via love.
However, the law continued to prohibit interracial marriage.
Earnest Evans, better known as Checker, was born in South Carolina in October 1941. When he was around seven, he relocated to Philadelphia, where he attended school. His mother encouraged him to sing and perform at church.
Chubby Checker in a studio portrait from 1961 in the United States. | Source: Getty Images
He took up the name Chubby in high school, landed a job slaughtering chickens, and his boss set him up with a friend in the music industry. In 1959, Checker secured a record deal with Cameo-Parkway Records and issued his debut single, “The Class.” Checker remarked when discussing entering the music industry: ” “Mrs. Dick Clark gave me my big break. She recognized a unique quality in me.”
Checker’s confidence and talent were seen by Dick Clark of “American Bandstand” fame, who suggested the young performer reinterpret Hank Ballard’s “The Twist.” When Checker published his version, it was the number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. After appearing on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” it returned to the charts in 1961.
Love Is Colorless
In December 1963, when Lodders had finished serving as Miss World, Checker got down on one knee and proposed to her at his parents’ home. Despite the difficulties of being in an interracial relationship, the model and her Rock and Roll star wed in 1964 at the Temple Lutheran Church in Pennsauken, New Jersey, and have been strong ever since.
Three children and seven grandchildren belong to Chubby Checker and his 58-year-old wife.
For being together, Checkers and Lodders encountered racial prejudice and criticism. Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s passage, it granted African Americans the right to vote and freedom from institutional segregation. However, the law continued to prohibit interracial marriage. Three years after their wedding, the prohibition against interracial marriage would be abolished.
Chubby Checker and Catharina Lodders in December 1963. | Source: Getty Images
Checker responded that he didn’t give a damn because love knows no color when asked how he felt about people finding out he was marrying a white woman. They encountered difficulties when trying to purchase a home in Philadelphia as newlyweds. But they persisted, and in 1965 they bought a house outside of Philadelphia where they currently live. Checkers remarked: “White brothers receive compensation for 20 years, whereas black singers come and go. They’re not playing me because it means something very important. Perhaps one individual holds too much power.”
The singer continued by offering Elton John as an example, who started his career in the 1960s and is still relevant and successful now, to argue that racism has a huge impact on how long musicians receive attention for their work. He pondered the future viability of contemporary African-American celebrities like Beyonce.
Chubby Checker and Catharina Loddars arrive in London. | Source: Getty Images
Continue to twist
The 81-year-old “Let’s Twist Again” singer still performs when given the opportunity. He performs live on tour and at cruises and rock & roll music festivals. Although the pandemic prevented him from going on tour, it gave him more time to be with his family. Checker described his current outlook as follows:
“Time flies by so quickly. In the 80s club, I am. I’m keeping track of the time. But you know what? I’m going to work with them as best I can. Being here is just great.”
Facebook/Shan Egan Evans
He didn’t lose a beat when he returned to the stage. He enjoys playing for audiences that are still moved by his songs. Even though some believe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has overlooked his contributions to the genre, the artist has stated that it is more important to him to see fans at his gigs.
Three children and seven grandchildren belong to Chubby Checker and his 58-year-old wife. He still enjoys spending time with his life partner. He doesn’t intend to retire because, in his opinion, being lazy is the worst. He attributes his work ethic and development as a man to his father. At the age of four, he had his first job shining shoes and has since worked.
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