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4 June 2022, 15:52
Nile Rodgers is one of the most successful and respected musicians of his generation.
From his work with Chic to his production on classic songs by David Bowie, Madonna and many others, he continues to be a highly sought-after artist.
Here are all the big and important facts about Nile Rodgers every fan should know:
Nile Rodgers is an American record producer, songwriter, musician, composer, arranger and guitarist.
He is the lead guitarist and co-founding member - along with Bernard Edwards - of the band Chic.
He is particularly known for his so-called "chucking" rhythm guitar style.
He also recorded three solo albums during the 1980s and 1990s, and one as part of the short-lived group Outloud. However, he has found more success as producer and performer with many artists including Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, Sheena Easton, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran, Madonna, INXS, Britney Spears, Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Avicii, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera and George Michael.
Nile Rodgers was born on September 19, 1952. He celebrated his 69th birthday in 2021.
He was born in The Bronx, when his mother was 14, and his father, Nile Sr, two years older.
In his teens, Rodgers was a member of the Harlem chapter of the Black Panther Party.
Nile Rodgers isn't married, but has been with his current partner, former magazine editor Nancy Hunt, for over 20 years.
According to the Guardian, they both didn’t want children. Rodgers has said that he spent too much of his life looking after his own family to have his own.
Nile Rodgers is known to be seen wearing a Kangol hat.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2019, Nile said: "I used to have the fadeaway haircut, which is what Grace Jones was wearing at the time. It became something that was worn by 80s hip-hop artists and I never wanted to appear to be part of a movement I wasn’t a part of.
|I’m a hippie: I associate myself with the movement of black power, gay rights and women’s rights. Madonna was the one who told me to get dreadlocks.
"My Kangol hats are practical because my hair has gotten so long. Every so often you’ll see me without one on, and that’s because I know I’m not going to dinner.
"You have no idea how embarrassing it is when I’m having tea or curry with someone and they say: “Nile, your hair is in the bowl.”
Chic - Le Freak
He began his career as a teenage session guitarist in New York, and toured with the Sesame Street band.
Nile met bassist Bernard Edwards in 1970. Together they formed The Big Apple Band, and worked as back-up musicians for the vocal group New York City. At one point, they opened for The Jackson 5 on the American leg of their first world tour in 1973.
As the Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards worked with Ashford & Simpson, Luther Vandross, and many others. As another New York artist, Walter Murphy, had a band also called The Big Apple Band, Rodgers and Edwards were forced to change their band's name to avoid confusion.
In 1977, the band was renamed as Chic. Rodgers later said that a major inspiration was a Roxy Music gig he saw in London.
Nile Rodgers Talks Surviving Cancer Twice and Joining Abbey Road Studios | Good Morning Britain
Nile Rodgers has suffered from various health issues in recent years.
In the early 1990s, Rodgers woke up in hospital to learn that his heart had stopped eight times, and he was only alive due to the actions of the doctor filling out his death certificate. He eventually gave up cocaine and alcohol three years later, after a friend showed him a tape of him performing poorly in 1994.
In January 2011, Rodgers revealed that he had aggressive prostate cancer. In July 2013, he posted on Twitter that he had been given the all-clear regarding his cancer.
In December 2017, he announced on his blog that he had recently had surgery to remove a lump doctors had discovered on his right kidney after he was hospitalized for an E. coli infection.