Nile Rodgers
* September 12, 1952
United States
Solo Artist
There is nothing you can say about Nile Rodgers that hasn't already been heard by billions of people, via millions of radio airwaves, in thousands of cities, 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 perfectly meticulous bass seamlessly complemented Nile 's precise guitar. The two were confident enough of their synergy to introduce the world to CHIC in 1977.

"Dance, Dance, Dance" , the first single off CHIC's eponymous début, 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, Risqué . While they still kept their day job as the front men of CHIC, Nile and Bernard were not content to simply propel their own band to the top. They produced and composed the album We Are Family by Sister Sledge and did the same on Diana , the best selling album by Diana Ross , featuring her 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 1980s 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. 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 on Duran's "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-52's Cosmic Thing , Eric Clapton's Jimi Hendrix tribute album, Stone Free , Paula Abdul , and the unforgettable Beavis and Butthead Experience .

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 complement the event, a TV and radio documentary, CD, and DVD were released.

Shortly after producing Rai music superstar Cheb Mami's album Dellali, featuring Sting , Nile embarked upon the biggest project of his life . Nile started the We Are Family Project, A Celebration of Our Common Humanity after the events of September 11th. The project began with a re-recording of We Are Family with over 200 celebrities and an accompanying music video directed by Spike Lee ; an 80 minute documentary entitled The Making and Meaning of We Are Family which débuted at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation; 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; a National We Are Family Day spearheaded for passage in Congress by former Senator Robert Dole and Senator Orrin Hatch ; limited edition prints of an interpretive artwork entitled "We Are Family" by world renowned artist Francesco Clemente ; and a We Are Family exhibit at the Children's Museum of Utah launched during the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics . The We Are Family Foundation was established in July 2002 to promote tolerance and multiculturalism education and to support victims of intolerance, and has since extended its program with several high profile projects.

Nile's talent radiates in many directions: he added his famous guitar licks to Seal's version of "Fly Like An Eagle" , scored films such as Coming to America , Earth Girls Are Easy and Beverly Hills Cop III , and served as the Musical Director of the largest commercial broadcast success in VH-1's history, VH-1's Divas Live Tribute to Diana Ross . Crowning his diverse accomplishments, Nile has been awarded 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. Nile has written, produced, or performed on songs which have sold over a hundred million records.

The National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) , of which Nile has served as both Governor and Trustee, has given him both its Lifetime Achievement Award , and the New York Chapter's Heroes Award, the highest honor bestowed, honoring individuals whose creative talents and accomplishments cross all musical boundaries. Over the years he has served NARAS in various capacities with the P & E Wing, TV Committee, Grammy in the Schools, and the Law Initiative.

History is still in the making. Nile laid down the funky guitar on Joss Stone's single, “You Had Me” , which débuted in the top 10 in the UK , produced the most recent Soul Decision album, Shady Satin Drug and co-produced Duran Duran's latest album, Astronau t with all five original band members. Nile 's upcoming production credits include “Everyday People”, Maroon 5's contribution to Sly2K, the forthcoming Sly and The Family Stone tribute and the B-52's single “Paperback Writer”. In addition, he is putting the finishing touches on the highly anticipated new CHIC album—of which the single "Let's Bounce" débuted in the hit film Rush Hour 2.

As the music industry changes, Nile is on the cutting edge of new opportunities for artists. He recently executive produced, produced and contributed to Halo 2: Original Soundtrack, Vol. 1 , the number one selling original video game soundtrack of all time. Working with Breaking Benjamin , Hoobastank , Incubus and legendary guitarist Steve Vai , Nile broke with the current soundtrack trend of needle dropping and gave the artists an opportunity to write original music inspired by the game.

Nile is currently the only African-American to own his own music distribution company – Sumthing Distribution. Sumthing is a leader in the distribution of video game soundtracks including Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Vol. 1, and the original, Halo: Combat Evolved. As the music industry changes, Nile is on the cutting edge of new opportunities for artists.

There is a lot to say about a talent as vast and far reaching as Nile Rodgers. He has been at the helm making music that has shaped three decades, and he continues to exert his influence today. The music and genius of Nile Rodgers truly speaks for itself - just turn on your radio and listen.
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