Westporter Nile Rodgers, Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, producer, philanthropist, and writer, will receive the Westport Library’s BOOKED for the Evening Award on May 15, it was announced today.
Rodgers, who has sold more than 100 million copies of his recordings, began his career as a session guitarist touring with the Sesame Street band in his teens He went on to the create the groundbreaking funk band Chic with a string of No. 1 hits.
His collaborators over the years have included Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna and Michael Jackson. He has composed music for the movies and received the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences New York Chapter Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Heroes Award.
In 2005, he was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York when he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements as a producer, along with former bandmate Bernard Edwards. Rodgers’ bestselling memoir, “Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny,” was published in 2011. He is also the subject of the highly rated 2013 BBC documentary “The Hitmaker.”
Almost as well known for his philanthropy as he is for his music, Rodgers was prompted by the 9/11 tragedies to create the We Are Family Foundation to help promote the healing process.
He has created special events and recordings that continue to air as public service announcements on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS stations, promoting a common humanity and celebrating the vision of a global family.
Rodgers’ performance of “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, Pharell Williams and special guest Stevie Wonder on the recent Grammy Awards broadcast became an instant classic.
Nile Rodgers addresses a Westport Public Library audience in January 2012. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Rodgers won three 2014 Grammy Awards for his work with Daft Punk on the album “Random Access Memories”—Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
The BOOKED for the Evening Westport Library Award was created to honor an individual whose work has nurtured a love of learning and enhanced our understanding of the world.
Past recipients include Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Arthur Mitchell, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Barry Levinson, Patti Smith, and Jon Meacham.
The BOOKED for the Evening Gala is the Westport Library’s signature fundraising event. All proceeds benefit the programs and services of the Westport Library. Tickets for BOOKED for the Evening will go on sale in April. Go to westportlibrary.org for more information.