Freak Out! SHINE Gets Ready For Chic

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11 November 2011: Just one week after they played a gig “that would have left a smile on the face of a gargoyle”, Nile Rodgers and Chic will be performing their greatest hits at SHINE’s 2011 Benefit Dinner, to be held on Thursday 17th November at Old Billingsgate.

For decades now Nile Rodgers has been a key player in American music. As a musician, he co-founded Chic, one of America’s most influential dance bands. And as a producer, he gave the 1980s its soundtrack.

Much more recently, just last week Nile Rodgers and Chic played a superb gig at the Forum in Kentish Town, according to the London Evening Standard.

The fans were particularly delighted when Rodgers invited them on stage to sing along to the band’s biggest hits, as you can see from this video clip. (A second clip is at the bottom of this page.)

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In 1977 Rodgers and two other musicians formed Chic. The band was an instant success. Their first, eponymous album, released the same year, went Gold in America. The following year the band’s second album, C’est Chic, was even more successful, going Platinum in the US and Gold over here. This was no doubt helped by its best known track, Le Freak. A massive hit, Le Freak gave Chic their first US number one single and went onto sell more than six million copies worldwide. It became Warner Brothers’ biggest selling single of all time.

A third album, Risqué, was released in 1979. It was just as successful, with its single, Good Times, becoming Chic’s second US number one. This proved to be one of the most influential songs of the 1970s. Since its release, it has been sampled by scores of bands and has inspired hit songs by Queen (I Want To Break Free), Blondie (Rapture) and Duran Duran (Rio).

Chic disbanded in the early 1980s, only to reform years later to record new material and tour extensively worldwide. Which is lucky for us, really.

Nile Rodgers

Besides his career fronting Chic, Nile Rodgers has also done just fine as a record producer. He started well in 1978 by producing We Are Family for Sister Sledge. Two years later, he was working with Diana Ross (I’m Coming Out is one of his).

From then on, as they say, the hits kept coming. In 1983 he co-produced Like a Virgin for Madonna and also Let’s Dance, David Bowie’s biggest selling album ever. By the end of the decade he had also produced Notorious for Duran Duran and Cosmic Thing for the B-52s, as well as albums for Mick Jagger, Grace Jones and many, many more.

More recently, Nile has moved into movie soundtracks, working on dozens of films including Thelma and Louise and Feeling Minnesota. He also tours extensively with Chic, playing a combination of their own tracks and music written by Rodgers for other artists. We are pleased to report that they have prepared extensively for their SHINE debut, as you can see from these clips. Besides last week’s concert in north London, Chic spent the summer playing gigs across Europe before nabbing a headline spot in front of 22,000 people at Radio 2’s Festival in a Day in Hyde Park this September.

No surprise, then, that we are absolutely delighted to welcome Nile Rodgers and Chic to this year’s event. To find out more about SHINE’s Benefit Dinners, click here. And to get you warmed up, click on the video below for another taste of Chic at full freak. Come Thursday, we dare you to stay off the dance floor. Doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. Doesn’t matter who you’re with. Go on, just try.

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