Nile Gregory Rodgers is an American guitarist, producer and composer, born in New York, United States, on 19th September 1952. Focusing primarily on the R&B, Blues and rock genres of music, Rodgers has mostly been affiliated with the band Chic, formed in 1976 which is still active today. Besides working with Chic, Rodgers has also been associated with several other artists in the industry, working alongside Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Madonna, INXS, and more contemporarily, Disclosure and Sam Smith. In a career that has spanned more than three decades, Rodgers has been recognized for a very distinctive style of playing, quite evident in his collaborations with Chic.
After the formation of Chic, they instantly became recognized amongst a large number of followers, acknowledging some of their unique songs. Some of Rodgers’ earliest songs include “Le Freak“, “I Want Your Love“, “Everybody Dance“, “Dance, Dance, Dance“, “My Forbidden Lover“, and “Good Times“, most of them top-charting the billboards as soon as released. The latter was instrumental in popularizing hip-hop music in the 1980s, furthering the music that Rodgers particularly espoused to. These records set in the basic sounds of R&B, club and disco music with “Le Freak” being the only triple platinum selling song of Atlantic Records. After the success of his first few singles, Rodgers, together with his band, considered collaborations with a number of prominent artists of the time.
In the 1980s, after the success of Diana (1980), Chic parted ways and Rodgers began a solo career. He collaborated with several artists in this period, most notably assisting David Bowie in what was supposed to be his most popular album. Rodgers had his hand in singles such as “China Girl“, “Modern Love” and “Let’s Dance”. Around the same time, Rodgers helped INXS on their single “Original Sin”, paving way to a long-lasting relationship with Duran Duran. After the successes of “The Reflex” and “The Wild Boys”, he worked on their 1986 album titled Notorious, with the single “Notorious” recognized as a hit single. Towards the end of the 1980s, Rodgers began work on some of the first film soundtracks in Coming To America and White Hot. In the early years of the 1990s, Rodgers worked alongside guitar legends Eric Clapton and Jimmie Vaughan and formed a revamped version of Chic with bassist Bernard Edwards. In 1996, they released the album Chic Freak and More Treats, featuring some recorded versions of their old compilations. After the untimely death of his long-standing friend and band partner, Bernard Edwards, he played several live concerts to pay homage to Edwards, all the while composing soundtracks for The Flintstones and Feeling Minnesota. At the start of the 21st century, Rodgers devoted much time to making scores for other popular films of the time, while also focusing on re-recording some of the songs from the past, perhaps in the hope of giving them a more contemporary and vibrant feel.
Because of dedication and zeal demonstrated by such an outstanding musician, Nile Rodgers has been awarded several times from international organizations for his tremendous efforts in revolutionizing the music industry. He received the NY Chapter’s Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, while also being nominated for the Hall of Fame for a total of ten times. His most recent works include collaborations with Daft Punk for his latest album set to be released soon.