Chic is a disco/R&B band that came together in 1976 in New York City when guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards met as session musicians. The duo began to play gigs in and around New York, and while they built up a local following, they failed to generate interest from record labels. In 1977 drummer Tony Thompson joined the band, and the trio began to perform cover songs. Keyboardist Raymond Jones and singer Norma Jean Wright joined the band and they recorded the singe, “Dance, Dance, Dance” in 1977. The single caught the attention of Atlantic Records, who the band signed with in 1977 and released their self-titled debut album “Chic,” which was well-received by their fans. By 1978 the band had added singer Luci Martin to their line-up.
1978 marked the band's second effort, “C'est Chic,” which contained the #1 international hit single, “Le Freak.” The album also spawned the hugely successful follow-up single “I Want Your Love.” This album elevated the band's public status and paved the way for their successful third offering, “Risqué” in 1979. The album produced the tracks “Good Times” and “My Forbidden Lover.”
In addition to their work with Chic, Edwards and Rodgers composed, arranged, and produced music for numerous disco and Rhythm & Blues artists at the time, including Sister Sledge, Sheila and B. Devotion, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry and Luther Vandross. After the disco-movement of the 1970s began to die down, the band struggled to maintain their high profile.
By the 1980s Chic had disbanded, while Edwards and Rodgers went on to have successful producer/engineer careers. Rodgers, Edwards, and Thompson went on to provide instrumental back-up on albums for Diana Ross and Sister Sledge. Rodgers co-produced David Bowie's 1983 album “Let's Dance” and worked on Madonna's 1984 album, “Like a Virgin” with Thompson and Edwards. 1986 saw Rodgers produced Duran Duran's fourth album, “Notorious,” with Edwards giving the band's bassist John Taylor his own bass guitar.
1989 saw Rodgers and Edwards begin working on a Chic reunion and the release of a new Chic album, “Chic-Ism,” which was a commercial success and spawned a number of live shows. Edwards died of pneumonia at the age of 43 in 1996.
The 2000s saw Chic release four more albums: “The Very Best of Chic,” “Good Times: The Very Best of the Hits & the Remixes,” “A Night in Amsterdam,” and “The Definitive Groove Collection.” 2003 marked the death of Thompson from kidney cancer at the age of 48, and as of 2011, Rodgers began a battle with prostate cancer and released his autobiography, “Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny.”