“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.”
More than 35 years since Nile Rodgers and his prized ‘59 Fender Stratocaster (aka “the Hitmaker”) helped create a new vernacular for rhythm guitarists, his signature sound is flourishing in progressive dance music. His work with Daft Punk on the duo’s Random Access Memories (2013) won a Grammy for “Album of the Year.” The album’s lead single “Get Lucky” marked a watershed victory for Rodgers, Daft Punk, and co-writer Pharrell Williams. It topped the charts in no less than 35 countries and earned Rodgers two more Grammy Awards for “Record of the Year” and “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.” Evidenced by his astounding success with Daft Punk, Rodgers has long been a respected figure among artists in the EDM community. Years earlier, French house duo Modjo won a chart-topping U.K. single when they sampled Nile’s guitar riff from “Soup for One” on “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” (2000), further distinguishing CHIC as the “most sampled band in history” (The Guardian, 2011). Rodgers’ recent collaborations with acts like Avicii, Sam Smith and Disclosure, Tensnake, and David Guetta underscore his passion in exploring and mastering new EDM technology. “The full scope of Nile Rodgers’ career is still hard to fathom, and it’s not just ongoing, it’s in overdrive,” remarked Rolling Stone, who named Rodgers one of “the 50 Most Important People in EDM” (2014).
Nile Rodgers has also burnished his renown as one of the industry’s most prolific band leaders and music directors on the touring and music festival circuit. Over the last two decades, he’s revamped CHIC’s stage show to become a thrilling, hit-filled event for audiences of every musical persuasion. Their performance at Glastonbury 2013 was heralded by critics and fellow musicians alike, spurring Oasis front man Noel Gallagher to exclaim, “My favorite act at this year’s Glastonbury was not the Rolling Stones, as good as they were; was not the Arctic Monkeys, as good as they were; was not Disclosure, as good as they were; but it was CHIC. They were fucking mega. Absolutely out of this world.” Rodgers has also received plaudits for staging unforgettable concerts at Montreux Jazz Festival, including 2006’s star-studded tribute to Ahmet Ertegün, the legendary founder and chairman of Atlantic Records. Six years later, Rodgers conceived and presented Freak Out! Montreux, an eight-hour concert that traced the history of dance music through performances by artists and DJ’s like Grace Jones, Cerrone, Martha Wash, La Roux, Mark Ronson, and Dimitri from Paris.
Around the world, Rodgers is regularly invited to give keynote speeches at noted media and music industry conferences. Through sharing his expertise and musical accomplishments, he helps impart salient life lessons as well as his philosophies about the creative process. In 2014, he was the featured speaker at events sponsored by FremantleMedia and Advertising Week, including an interview with Pandora founder Tim Westergren. For two consecutive years, Rodgers was the keynote speaker at the 2012 and 2013 International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza. He also helped launch Nokia MixRadio (2013) during a Q&A with Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde, presented at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (2012), and lectured at Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid (2011).
There’s no shortage of superlatives or accolades to convey the impact Nile Rodgers has made in popular music. He’s been honored the world over by some of the industry’s most respected institutions. In addition to his multiple Grammy Awards and RRHOF nominations, he’s received the Ivor Novello Awards’ “Special International Award” (2014), the IMS (International Music Summit) Legends Award (2014), Canadian Music Week Festival’s inaugural “Nile Rodgers Global Creator’s Award” (2014), a nomination for the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2013), an induction into the Dance Music Hall of Fame (2005), and the Lifetime Achievement Award and Heroes Award from the New York Chapter of NARAS (2003). As a cultural icon and music innovator, Nile Rodgers transcends all styles of music across every generation. From “Good Times” to “Get Lucky,” Rodgers’ unrivalled track record is a mere glimpse of what’s yet to come.
Click here to listen to Chic feat. Nile Rodgers via Deezer.