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Nile Rodgers
Nilerodgersatlecrib.jpg
Background information
Born 19 September 1952
New York, USA
Occupation Musician, composer, arranger, record producer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1970s-present
Associated acts Chic
Power Station
Duran Duran
David Bowie
Sister Sledge
Musician / Record Producer
This article covers only those aspects of the subject that are related to the career of Duran Duran.
A much more complete treatment can be seen in the Nile Rodgers article at Wikipedia.

Nile Gregory Rodgers (born September 19 1952 in New York City) is a prolific and influential musician, composer, arranger, guitarist and music producer, and co-founding member of the seminal multi-platinum hit R&B band Chic, with the late Bernard Edwards.

Chic[]

Rodgers began his career as a session guitarist in New York, playing with the Sesame Street band in his teens, and then working in the house band at Harlem's renowned Apollo Theater, backing artists like Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, Nancy Wilson, and Parliament Funkadelic.

He met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970. They formed a rock band called The Boys (later known as the Big Apple Band) but had trouble convincing record companies that black artists could play "rock". In 1977 Rodgers and Edwards joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson to form the funk/R&B band Chic, and went on to score numerous top ten hits and helped propel disco to new levels of popularity. Their songs "Everybody Dance", "Le Freak" and "Good Times" remain among the most sampled songs of the late 1970s/early 1980s R&B era. Chic dissolved in 1983.

He formed the short-lived experimental band Outloud in 1987, and reunited with Chic from 1992 to 1996.

Duran Duran[]

Duran Duran worked extensively with Rodgers after he produced a remix version of "The Reflex" in 1983, which became a No.1 hit single. Their next project was "The Wild Boys" for inclusion on the 1984 live album Arena. He worked with members John Taylor and Andy Taylor on their side project Power Station in 1985, which produced two hit singles.

In 1986, he produced the entirety of Duran Duran's Notorious album, which yielded a #2 title track hit. During a live set, Simon Le Bon introduced Rodgers to "Skin Trade", saying "Well, this band went through a difficult time [during Notorious]. The band might not have made it if it weren't for this gentleman..." He contributed to numerous other projects and appearances with members of the band throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Nile2014-08-11.pngNile Rodgers, 11th Aug 2014

In 2002-2003 Nile returned to co-produce Astronaut, a new album by the original five members of the band. The album went to No.1 in 15 countries.

Nile performed on The Dandy Warhols's 2003 album Welcome To The Monkey House, which was co-produced by Nick Rhodes and featured Simon Le Bon on "Plan A".

On August 11th 2014, it was announced that Nile Rodgers would return to Duran Duran once again, to produce the album All You Need Is Now. He provided guest vocals and lead guitar on the track Pressure Off, and mixed and remixed several songs.

The Hitmaker[]

Rodgers plays a white 1960 Fender Stratocaster with a 1959 neck, nicknamed The Hitmaker, which he acquired as a trade-in at a shop in Miami Beach, Florida. Exceptionally light, it has a maple fingerboard and a worn white finish. Rodgers claims it has a unique sound. After Rodgers purchased the guitar, Edwards taught him how to play it in a chop chord style, which he called "chucking". In his autobiography, Rodgers wrote: "He fingered the chords with his left hand, and his right hand would continuously play sixteen notes to the bar while accenting the main parts of the rhythm ... One lesson was all I needed. For the next few nights straight, while my roommate pursued all manner of trysts, I was having a love affair in the bathroom with my new ax. In just a few days, I'd emerge as a chucking funk guitarist who knew more jazz chord inversions than most of my R&B counterparts."

Production[]

After Chic's demise, Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers began doing record production, sometimes together, sometimes apart. In the 1970s and 1980s Rodgers and Edwards produced, wrote, and performed with the band Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, Deborah Harry, David Bowie, and Madonna. In the 1990s and 2000s he has worked with Joss Stone, Britney Spears, the Shapeshifters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton, among many others.

In 1998, Rodgers founded Sumthing Distribution, the largest African-American owned independent music label distribution company in America. Sumthing currently focuses on the distribution in a fast-growing new genre: video game soundtracks.

Rodgers has received a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Heroes Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and has been inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.

References[]

External links[]

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