10 Songs You Didn't Know Were Produced, Composed, or Written by Nile Rodgers
Nile Rodgers is a record producer, songwriter, musician, composer, arranger, and guitarist. As the co-founder of CHIC, he has written, produced, and performed on records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide. Rodgers has worked with everybody from Mick Jagger and David Bowie, to Madonna and Daft Punk. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won multiple Grammys, and is the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Below are 10 songs you might not have known Rodgers has his fingerprints on.
1. Madonna - "Like a Virgin" (1984)
In 1984, Nile Rodgers met Madonna at the Power Station studios in New York. Rodgers said of their first meeting, “It's interesting because when I first met Madonna, I knew right away what she was all about.” Rodgers originally did not want to record “Like a Virgin” because he was not a fan of the hook. After refusing to record the song for a few days Rodgers admitted that the song had gotten stuck in his head during that time. So the song was eventually recorded and became one of Madonna’s biggest hits.
2. Sister Sledge - "We Are Family" (1979)
"We Are Family" was the first song Nile Rodgers wrote for anybody besides his own band CHIC. The song was written in collaboration with Bernard Edwards and went on to see tremendous success on the charts. The song went gold and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 100. Billboard magazine also ranked the song 20th on their list of 100 Greatest Girls Group Songs of All Time.
3. Daft Punk - "Get Lucky" (2012)
"Get Lucky" is a wildly successful disco track that has reached Top 10 on music charts in over 32 countries and won multiple Grammy awards. The French house music duo Daft Punk came together with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell to create a funky tune about connecting with others. “What we’ve done is extraordinary. We’d tried hooking up for years. Eventually, it happened and they were more than complimentary about the CHIC heritage.” Rodgers told Classic Pop Magazine.
4. Diana Ross - "I’m Coming Out" (1980)
"I’m Coming Out" was written by and produced by CHIC members Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, and has been regarded as an anthem for the LGBTQ community.
5. David Bowie - "Let’s Dance" (1983)
"Let’s Dance" is one of David Bowie’s biggest hits. The song was written by Bowie and produced by Nile Rodgers and appears on the album of the same name, Let's Dance. It was released as the album's first single in 1983 and went on to become one of his biggest-selling tracks. Stevie Ray Vaughan played the guitar solo at the end of the song.
7. The B52’s - "Roam" (1989)
Produced by Nile Rodgers, "Roam" was released as a single off The B52’s hit album, Cosmic Thing. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in April 1990. It was also nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Vocal Performance by a duo or group category. Although the song did not win the Grammy award it went on to see a lot of success worldwide.
8. Avicii - "Lay Me Down" (2013)
Written by Avicii, Ash Pournouri, Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert, this track appears on Avicii's debut studio album, True. Rodgers also plays guitar on the track. In a Billboard interview, Rodgers recalled the exciting relationship he had with the Swedish DJ and producer, “We laughed all the time," Rodgers says. "I used to say, "You put Tim and I in a room, and we can do the entire Top 20 in, like, two or three weeks."
9. Duran Duran - "Notorious" (1986)
"Notorious" marked the debut of the new streamlined trio version of Duran Duran, as Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor had left the band by the time the album was released. As a trio, the band had enlisted the help of Nile Rodgers to take over production duties. His funk influences can be heard throughout the single - for example, the tempo and the use of The Borneo Horns brass section. Rodgers also played the guitar on the single.
10. Sheila - "Spacer" (1980)
Sheila is a singer that is little known outside of her home country of France, except for her hit song "Spacer," which is in large part due to the help of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. In 1979, Sheila collaborated with Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of CHIC on the King of the World album, which featured "Spacer" (which peaked at #18 on the UK Singles Chart).