Produced on September 19, 1952, in Nyc, guitarist Nile Rodgers formed the group Chic with bassist Bernard Edwards, getting major hits throughout the disco era with “Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love” and “Good Times.” Rodgers additionally worked as a producer and arranger with the likes of Sister Sledge and Madonna, among numerous others.
Nile Rodgers Jr. was born on September 19, 1952, in New York City, with both his dad and uncle having musical tendencies.
Rodgers and Edwards investigated genres and performed to get a period as the Big Apple Band, that they renamed Chic in 1977 to prevent confusion with a different group. Chic’s first lineup comprised vocalists Alfa Anderson and Norma Jean Wright, along with drummer Tony Thompson, a longtime co-worker.
Chic had its highest Top 10 hit with “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” which was first taken on by the Buddah label and after that broadcast by Atlantic Records. The group released its self-titled debut in 1977, with Luther Vandross helping out on background vocals as well as the record featuring another single, “Everybody Dance.” The record also featured another Top 10 hit, the warm “I Want Your Love.” Chic’s third record, Risqu, offered the pop chart-topper “Good Times,” after tried by the Sugarhill Gang for the song “Rapper’s Delight.”
Chic became one of dance music’s leading acts. With Edwards’s highly distinctive bass guitar sound and Rodgers’s trademark guitar licks, their tunes and associated vision fused glamor and dramatic flourishes with orchestral funk/soul.
Rodgers crafted anthemic dancing tunes to get numerous artists beyond his group. He and Edwards were writers and producers for Sister Sledge’s classic We’re Family (1979), featuring the title track and “He Is the Greatest Dancer,” both R&B chart toppers. The duet also helmed Diana Ross’s 1980 record, Diana, featuring “Upside Down” as well as the celebratory “I am Coming Out.”
On his own, Rodgers managed production for David Bowie’s Let’s Dance (1983) as well as the 1984 record from a particular provocateur who shifted pop music dialogues eternally with “Like a Virgin” and “Material Girl.” Rodgers also worked with the likes of Duran Duran, the B52s, the Vaughan Brothers and Grace Jones. Also, he released the solo albums Experiences in the Land of the Good Grove (1983) and B-Movie Matinee (1985), performed/recorded using the group Outloud and afterwards added soundtrack work to his repertoire.
Chic was reestablished in 1992, having a fresh record Chicism released that same year. Chic has since performed in quite a few iterations through the years.
Rodgers had fought with serious substance and alcohol misuse for much of his life, but successfully completed rehabilitation and stayed sober for a long time. He was identified as having prostate cancer in 2010, but was in a position to create the full recovery.
Also, Rodgers worked with vocalist Adam Lambert on “Lay Me Down” for Swedish producer Avicii’s record, True.