Paula Deen, Chaka Kahn

Paul Morigi/WireImage/Paul Redmond/WireImage

The ballroom is filling up, y'all. 

Controversial celebrity chef Paula Deen is joining the cast of Dancing With the Stars, multiple sources exclusively tell E! News.

Our sources also exclusively tell us that Grammy-winning music icon Chaka Khan, aka the Queen of Funk, will also be competing in season 21 when it premieres on Sept. 14.  ABC does not comment on casting rumors.

Deen, 68, has been at the center of several controversies over the last two years, beginning with the scandal over the use of the N-word in 2013, which resulted in the loss of her show on the Food Network and multiple brand partnerships, and recently made headlines when she tweeted an old photo of her son Bobby Dean in brown face, firing her social media manager soon after. Deen launched her own digital network in 2014.

This actually isn't the first time DWTS has approached Deen to join the show, as they courted her back in season 17, only to be turned down by the former Food Network star. And guess what? That wasn't the first time Deen turned them down, as she revealed she was first asked to compete in 2010. The chef told Extra that when she had been approached by the show's producers, she admitted to being a fan of the show, but politely declined joining the cast. "They did ask me and I said no," she said at the time. "Fat girls don't look good sweating." 

The ABC reality hit's cast for the 21st season has slowly been coming together, with Bindi Irwin, the 17-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin, being announced as the first contestant. Also set to compete are Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, who previewed his moves for fans on Twitter, and Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza.

Plus, nine of the 12 pros have already been revealed: Karina Smirnoff is set to return to the show after sitting last season out, while returning champ Val ChmerkovskiyDerek HoughMark Ballas,Artem ChigvintsevAllison HolkerWitney CarsonSharna Burgess and Peta Murgatroydwill all be back in the ballroom. The full DWTS season 21 cast will be revealed Sept. 2 on Good Morning America

The new season of DWTS premieres Monday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. on ABC.

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.