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Nile Rodgers

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There is nothing you can say about Nile Rodgers that hasn't already been heard by billions of people, in millions of cities, via thousands of radio airwaves, in hundreds of countries. The career of Nile Rodgers is one of the most enduring and prolific in music. Nile's signature is scrawled across an amazing array of music - from Madonna to Diana Ross, from David Bowie to Eric Clapton. Nile first picked up a guitar while still in school and there was no stopping the evident talent that quickly emerged. At the age of 19, Nile not only worked for Sesame Street, but was performing nightly as part of the house band for the world renowned Apollo Theatre in Harlem, playing with luminaries such as Aretha Franklin, Parliament Funkadelic, Ben E. King and The Cadillacs. Pretty amazing for a skinny kid with glasses from New York City, but he wanted more. Nile Rodgers wanted a band of his own. Once the decision was made, Nile searched for a partner in crime. He soon found him in local boy Bernard Edwards, whose precision with the bass was as close to Nile's precision with the guitar as either of them could hope for. The two were confident enough in their talent to introduce the world to CHIC in 1977. "Dance, Dance, Dance", the first single off CHIC's eponymous debut, hit the Top 10 and they never looked back. 1978 yielded their second hit, "Everybody Dance", while a third single, "Le Freak", hit No. 1 and became Warner Brothers' biggest selling single of all time. The dynamic duo of Edwards and Rodgers finished off the year by releasing their second album, C'est Chic, which went directly into the Top 5. The year 1979 brought the singles "I Want Your Love", "Good Times" and a third CHIC album, Risque. While they still kept their day job as the front men of CHIC, Nile and Bernard were not content with just propelling their own band to the top. They produced and composed the album We Are Family by Sister Sledge and completed the same duties on Diana, the best selling album by Diana Ross, featuring their smash singles, "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out". And if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then surely the Sugarhill Gang's appropriation of the bass line from "Good Times" as the bass line for 1980's seminal rap song "Rapper's Delight" is an outstanding tribute. Though the 70s embraced the R&B funk of CHIC, it was the 80s that secured Nile's place in music history. While forever bonded, Nile branched away from Bernard in the early 80s to collaborate with David Bowie. Their partnership may have raised more than a few eyebrows, but it offered music lovers Let's Dance, the biggest selling record in Bowie's career, and the hits "China Girl" "Modern Love" and "Let's Dance". With the success of Let's Dance, Nile proved an R&B guy could produce pop and rock. So, he followed it up by working with a girl from Michigan named Madonna, on a little record called "Like A Virgin", which went on to sell 14 million copies in the United States alone. Nile then produced Duran Duran's "The Reflex" single, which stayed at No. 1 for 15 weeks. After more production collaborations with Duran's the "Wild Boys" single and the Notorious album - Nile went on to work with a staggering array of musicians ranging from Mick Jagger on his She's The Boss record, INXS' groundbreaking "Original Sin" single, The Thompson Twins' Here's To Future Days, Grace Jones' Inside Story, the B-52s' Cosmic Thing, Eric Clapton's tribute to Jimi Hendrix album Stone Free, Paula Abdul and of course Beavis and Butthead. Perhaps there is not a more fitting tribute than the one Nile received in Japan in 1996. Selected among his peers as Billboard Magazine's Top Producer in the World, he was honored as JT Super Producer. Nile was invited to Japan to perform a retrospective of his career, and was joined by Bernard Edwards, Sister Sledge, Steve Winwood, Simon LeBon and Slash, as they performed the hits that Nile took part in creating. To compliment the event, a TV and radio documentary, CD, and a DVD were released. Shortly after producing Rai music superstar Cheb Mami's album Dellali featuring Sting, the events of September 11th prompted Nile to embark upon the biggest project of his life - The We Are Family Project, A Celebration of Our Common Humanity. The project encompasses a National We Are Family Day spearheaded for passage in Congress by Senator Robert Dole; a re-recording of We Are Family with over 200 celebrities and an accompanying music video directed by Spike Lee; an unprecedented recording and music video of over 100 famous children's characters singing We Are Family that aired simultaneously on Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS on March 11, 2002; an 80 minute documentary entitled The Making and Meaning of We Are Family which debuted at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival with a standing ovation; limited edition prints of an interpretive artwork entitled "We Are Family" by world renowned artist Francesco Clemente; and a permanent We Are Family exhibit at The Children's Museum of Utah launched during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. Amidst all of his accomplishments, Nile has still found time to win Grammys for Best Rock Instrumental for his collaboration with Jeff Beck on "Escape", Best Contemporary Blues Recording and Best Rock Instrumental Performance with the Vaughan Brothers, add his famous guitar licks to Seal's version of "Fly Like An Eagle", score films such as Coming to America, Earth Girls Are Easy and Beverly Hills Cop III, win a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), be the Musical Director of the largest commercial broadcast success in VH-1's history, VH-1's Divas Live Tribute to Diana Ross, be a Governor and Trustee of NARAS, and be responsible as either artist, producer or writer of songs that have accounted for sales of over 100,000,000 records. History is still in the making. Nile is currently in the studio with the original members of Duran Duran producing their next album to be released in 2002. He is also working with famed French artist/producer Cerrone and finishing the highly anticipated new CHIC album - of which the single "Let's Bounce" debuted in the hit movie Rush Hour 2. There is a lot to say about a talent as vast and far reaching as Nile Rodgers. He has been at the helm of music that has shaped two decades, and he continues to impose his influence in the next millennium. The music and genius of Nile Rodgers truly speaks for itself - just turn on your radio and listen.  See full bio on IMDb »

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