Nile Rodgers has sold over 100 million records. As the co-founder, songwriter, producer and guitarist of Chic he helped define the sound of the ’70s, as disco took the world by storm. Nile and musical partner Bernard Edwards captured the essence of New York’s iconic Studio 54 creating hits like Dance Dance Dance, Le Freak and Good Times for Chic and We Are Family and Lost In Music for struggling vocal group Sister Sledge. But the music that had made Chic would also break them, thanks to the ‘Disco Sucks’ backlash. What could have been the end for Nile Rodgers would actually be a new beginning as a producer, helping create some of the biggest hits of the 80s for the likes of Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran.
In this profile documentary, the ever-charismatic Rodgers contributes an engaging and often frank interview to tell the tale of how, born to Beatnik, heroin-addict parents in New York, he picked up a guitar as a teenager and embarked on a journey to learn his craft as a musician, before becoming one of disco’s most successful artists
In the ’70s and ’80s he lived the party lifestyle thanks to his success with Chic and as one of the music industry’s hottest producers. Drugs and alcohol would become part of everyday life for Nile, contributing in part to the break up of Chic in the early ’80s. The band would reform in the mid ’90s, but their return was quickly marked by tragedy with the death of Nile’s long-time friend and musical partner, Bernard Edwards in 1996.
Then in 2010 Nile was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of prostate cancer, which last year he announced he had beaten. In spite of, or perhaps because of this, Nile’s talent and ambition remains undimmed, deservedly earning himself the title of hardest-working man in pop, with Chic’s seemingly inexhaustible live performance schedule.
Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker recounts a captivating and moving story of a man who has created some of the most sparkling and ebullient pop music ever recorded.
Contributors include: Nile Rodgers’ fellow Chic members, singers Norma Jean, Alfa Anderson and Fonzi Thornton and keyboard player Rob Sabino, as well as recording engineers Bob Clearmountain and Robert Drake.
Other artists Nile has worked with talk passionately about his talents, including Sister Sledge’s Kathy Sledge; Bryan Ferry; Steve Winwood; Johnny Marr; La Roux’s Elly Jackson; Valerie Simpson; Debbie Harry and Chris Stein from Blondie and Duran Duran’s John Taylor.