Santa Monica, CA (November 10, 2014)—The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing will honor Grammy-winner Nile Rodgers for “his commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music,” during the organization’s eighth annual Grammy Week event, scheduled for Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at The Village Studios in West Los Angeles.
Michael Ostin and Cameron Strang will serve as honorary event co-chairs at the event. Grammy Week culminates with the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, February 8, 2015, airing live on the CBS Television Network, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
“Our Producers & Engineers Wing members are passionate about sound quality, the importance of music creators, and most of all, the integrity of recorded music,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy. “This year, it is with great pride that we honor a musical icon who is the epitome of everything the P&E Wing represents. Nile Rodgers is not only a revered member of the music community but also a founding member of the Wing and we look forward to celebrating his astonishing career, which continues to reach new musical heights and inspire generations.”
A musician, composer, arranger and guitarist, Rodgers began his career as a session guitarist in New York, first toured as a teenager with the Sesame Street band, and played with the house band at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater. In 1970, Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards met and formed the Big Apple Band. In 1977, the band changed its name to Chic and subsequently generated chart-topping hits such as “Le Freak,” “I Want Your Love,” “Everybody Dance,” and “Good Times.”
Following Chic’s dissolution in 1983, Rodgers embarked on a solo production career that launched hits for artists such as David Bowie, INXS, Duran Duran, Madonna, Sheena Easton, Jeff Beck, the Thompson Twins, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Howard Jones, the B-52’s, and Al Jarreau, among others. Rodgers’ work with a variety of popular artists soon led to opportunities to share his sound on film soundtracks such as Alphabet City, Gremlins, Against All Odds, That’s Dancing, White Nights, The Fly, White Hot, and Earth Girls Are Easy, in addition to collaborating with Peter Gabriel on Laurie Anderson’s concert film Home Of The Brave. In 1988, Rodgers composed his first orchestral score for the film Coming To America.
In the ’90s, Rodgers produced the Vaughan Brothers Family Style, which was released shortly after the untimely death of guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan, along with projects for Bowie, Eric Clapton, the B-52s, David Lee Roth, Ric Ocasek, Dan Reed Network, Cathy Dennis, Patty Griffin, Jimmie Vaughan, and The Stray Cats among others, along with continued soundtrack work on films such as Thelma and Louise, Cool World and Beavis And Butt-Head.
In 1998, Rodgers founded the Sumthing Else Music Works record label and Sumthing Distribution, an independent music label distributor. The label focused on a new genre: video game soundtracks. Its titles include the complete Halo and Resident Evil franchises, including Gears of War and Borderlands. During this time, Rodgers focused on additional soundtrack projects such as Rush Hour 2, Snow Dogs and Semi-Pro. In 2002-2003 he co-produced Astronaut, with the original five members of Duran Duran.
Prompted by the Sept. 11 tragedies, Rodgers created the We Are Family Foundation to help promote the healing process and organized a rerecording of “We Are Family,” the Grammy Hall of Fame-inducted song he and Edwards wrote for Sister Sledge.
Rodgers’ career has seen a resurgence in the electronic dance community through his work with such acts as Avicii, Disclosure and Tensnake. His collaboration with Daft Punk on its album Random Access Memories garnered him three Grammy Awards for 2013 including Album Of The Year and Song Of The Year. Rodgers continues to tour worldwide and remains an in-demand producer.
As the Producers & Engineers Wing 2015 honoree, Rodgers joins past honorees like Chris Blackwell; T Bone Burnett; Tom Dowd; Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun; Jimmy Iovine; Quincy Jones; Arif Mardin; Al Schmitt; Jerry Wexler; and Neil Young.
The Recording Academy