Chic’s founding partnership consisted of songwriter-producer-guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards (1952-1996), abetted by future Power Station drummer Tony Thompson (1954-2003). They rescued disco in 1977 with a combination of groove, soul and distinctly New York City studio smarts. Rodgers’ chopping rhythm guitar alongside Edwards’ deft bass lines were the perfect counterpart to melodic arrangements with their two female vocalists Alfa Anderson and Norma Jean Wright (replaced by Luci Martin). Out-of-the-box chart smashes “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” the Number One “Le Freak” and Number One “Good Times” (ranked on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Singles Of All Time) made Chic the preeminent disco band – emphasis on the word ‘band’ – of the late ’70s. Their music also extended disco’s tenure at a critical moment, as hip-hop (and later in the ’80s, New Jack Swing) began to take the stage. Over the years, artists such as Sugar Hill Gang and Diddy have turned to Chic for beats and samples: “Good Times” has been checked everywhere from “Rapper’s Delight” and Blondie’s “Rapture,” to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.” Rodgers and Edwards followed their five years in Chic with careers as top-flight producers for an A-list of megastars. Under Rodgers’ leadership, Chic has continued to tour, releasing live performances of its shows in Japan and Amsterdam.
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