Rodgers, Nile

Nile Gregory Rodgers (born 19 September 1952, in New York) began his career as a sessions guitarist in New York, playing with the Sesame Street band in his teens, and then working in the house band at Harlem’s 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 the Big Apple Band) and played numerous gigs around New York City, but despite interest in their demos, they could not get a record contract when the music companies discovered they were black; the discrimination of the day said black artists couldn’t play “rock”. These experiences, in addition to activist tenor of the times, led to Rodgers’ active involvement in the Black Panther Party in New York.
Not wanting to give up on their musical dreams, in 1977 Rodgers and Edwards joined forces with drummer Tony Thompson to form the funk/disco band Chic, and went on to score numerous top 10 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 disco era. Chic dissolved in 1983.

As Chic’s sound became more popular and sought-after, Rodgers began doing record production. He produced, wrote, and performed with the band Sister Sledge. He also produced records for Diana Ross, Deborah Harry, David Bowie and Duran Duran. It was at this time in the early 1980’s when he created the remix for the 12″ version of Dancing in the Dark for Kim Wilde.

He worked with members John Taylor and Andy Taylor on their side project Power Station in 1985, which produced two hit singles.
He formed the short-lived band Outloud in 1987; they released a single self-titled album.

After a 1992 birthday party where Rodgers, Edwards, Paul Schaffer and Anton Fig played old Chic hits to rapturous response, Rodgers and Edwards organized the reunion of the old band. They recorded new material and played live all over the world, to great audience and critical acclaim.

In 1996 Rodgers was honored as the “Top Producer In the World” in Billboard Magazine, and was named a JT Super Producer.
Rodgers has received a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Heroes Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. On 19 September 2005 Nile was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony in New York when he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements as a producer, along with former fellow band mate Bernard Edwards, who had died in 1996.