The National Museum of African American Music will honor Nile Rodgers, along with Charlie Wilson, Yolanda Adams, Keb’ Mo’ and Monami Entertainment CEO Mona Scott-Young at its fifth annual Celebration of Legends. The honorees will be presented with the museum’s Rhapsody & Rhythm Award on the evening of Thursday, May 31, 2018 at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville.
NMAAM president / CEO H. Beecher Hicks III said the five “represent the talented, accomplished and decorated musical pioneers that the National Museum of African American Music seeks to elevate. Their storied careers have a prominent place in history, and we’re proud to honor with them with this award.”
The Gala celebrates African American musical and cultural trailblazers who have made significant contributions to American music across all genres. Previous honorees include Warner / Chappell chairman / CEO Jon Platt, Patti LaBelle, production duo Gamble & Huff, Kirk Franklin and Teddy Riley.
The Celebration of Legends benefits NMAAM’s various educational and community programs, including its Emerging Artist Series. The Nashville-based museum is set to open in 2019. The event runs from 6:00 pm – 9:30 pm and tickets are available now for $250.00 individual; $2,250 for a Table. For tickets, further information and gala updates, visit the official nmaam website. The Pre-Reception begins at 6:00 pm with the Program & Dinner commencing at 7:00 pm.
You can’t listen to music today without hearing some influence from none other than the multi-talented Nile Rodgers. The guitarist, songwriter, producer, and composer has helped to craft the sound of America’s soundtrack for over four decades. Nile’s signature sound is embedded across various genres of music from Diana Ross to Madonna, David Bowie, Daft Punk, Sam Smith, and Eric Clapton. With more than 200 production credits to his name, it’s easy to see why Nile Rodgers is one of the National Museum of African American Music’s Rhapsody & Rhythm Award honorees at this year’s Celebration of Legends Gala.
As the co-founder and leading member of the legendary group CHIC, he wrote songs like “Le Freak,” “Everybody Dance,” and “Good Times,” “I Want Your Love,” all which are still timeless hits that can get you up out of your seat dancing no matter where you are. The song “Good Times” helped spark the hip hop movement when Sugar Hill Gang sampled the song for “Rapper’s Delight.”
In 2017, Nile Rodgers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Rodgers and his late Chic band mate Bernard Edwards co-wrote and co-produced the 1979 Sister Sledge album, We Are Family, and the title track was recently selected for preservation in the Library of Congress. Nile produced and co-wrote with Edwards Diana Ross’s 1980 hit solo album diana, including the breakout hits “I’m Coming Out,” and “Upside Down.” He and Edwards worked with Debbie Harry, scored the soundtrack to Soup for One, and produced for Teddy Pendergrass, Johnny Mathis, and Carly Simon before dissolving their partnership in 1983.
Rodgers released his first solo album Adventure in the Land of the Good Groove in 1983 and his production on the late David Bowie’s bestselling album, Let’s Dance in 1983 became a worldwide hit. From that point on, Rodgers became the go-to producer for pop, dance, and rock music.
HE worked with Duran Duran, INXS, and positioned Madonna for pop royalty by producing her 1984 album Like A Virgin. His second solo album B-Movie Matinee in 1985 kept him on the cutting edge of pop music as the genre evolved and he worked with artists like Michael Jackson and Grace Jones. CHIC reunited and released a new album,
CHIC-ism in 1992 reintroducing the group’s music to a new crop of artists. MC Lyte and Salt-N-Pepa sampled “Upside Down,” while the Notorious B.I.G. sampled “I’m Coming Out” on his 1997 hit “Mo Money Mo Problems. Will Smith grabbed onto the hook of “He’s the Greatest Dancer” for his 1998 hit “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”
The impact of Nile Rodgers contributions to the American Soundtrack that transcends all styles of music across a multitude of generations is one that will remain evident for years to come.
His style is a dance-rock signature sound that any dance, funk-inspired, soul, electronic musicians can trace back their inspiration back to him.
We’ll just continue to celebrate the “Good Times” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” every time his music is played.