Nile Rodgers and Chic
Nile Rodgers first picked up a guitar while still in school. 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. But he wanted a band of his own.
Once that decision was made, Nile searched for a partner. 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 album, hit the Top Ten and they never looked back. 1978 yielded their second hit, "Everybody Dance," while a third single, "Le Freak," hit #1 in the U.S. 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 Five.
The year 1979 brought the singles "I Want Your Love," "Good Times," and a third Chic album, Risque. While they still had their day jobs as the front men for Chic, Nile and Bernard were not content with just propelling their own band to the top. They composed and performed for albums by Sister Sledge and Diana Ross. 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," was an outstanding tribute.
In 1980, Chic released Real People, followed by Chic Chic, Take It Off, Tongue in Chic, and Believer. The group disbanded temporarily in the late 1980s, only to regroup for a compilation album in 1991 and Chic-Ism and The Best of Chic, Vol. 2 in 1992.
In April 1996, Nile Rodgers was honored in Japan at the JT Super Producers awards. To mark this occasion, Chic performed three concerts, with the final show taped for a television special and Chic's Live at the Budokan CD. It was immediately after that concert that Bernard Edwards died of pneumonia. Live at the Budokan was released in 1999, with The Very Best of Chic in 2000.
On the weekend of September 22, 2001 over 200 celebrities came together in unity and strength of purpose in New York and Los Angeles to re-record the Sister Sledge classic "We Are Family," in response to the devastating September 11th attack. Written and produced by Nile Rodgers, the all-star "We Are Family" single is in stores now. Director Spike Lee shot the music video, and a documentary entitled The Meaning and Making of We Are Family, directed by Danny Schechter of Globalvision, is in the making.
The goals of the We Are Family Foundation are two-fold. One is, in the spirit of the song, to celebrate our common humanity through diversity training and teaching tolerance. The other is to raise money for psychological counseling for the relief workers and victim's families of the September 11th attacks.
After this concert, Chic travels to New York and London for concerts there.