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49° Good Evening

Nile Rodgers is battling cancer

     The great Nile Rodgers – co-founder of Chic and prolific songwriter and producer – has announced that he has prostate cancer and is recovering from aggressive surgery to remove it.
     “I told only a handful of people because I didn't want to worry anyone, especially, my family around the holidays,” Rodgers blogged. “I did everything as usual - as best I could - until one day I couldn't. My hand had sudden muscle loss and a number of stressful events followed. I've just returned home from the hospital and want to explain my recent disappearance to everybody and share my appreciation of life, music and people.”
     Rodgers said that as part of his recovery, he has started taking long daily walks and his first walk was eventful, ending at his local Manhattan diner, where he found the entire staff singing along to “We Are Family,” the hit he wrote for Sister Sledge. He broke down in tears at the sight.
     “Maybe, I was just afraid of dying and feeling sorry for myself - cancer also makes you do that,” he wrote. “But my sadness was real. Cancer is a humiliating disease and I wanted to feel dignified about something. I wiped the tears from my eyes and told the diner's staff that I wrote the song they were singing.”
     Rodgers has written dozens of other amazing songs – most with his songwriting partner, the late Bernard Edwards – and produced dozens more, including hits for Madonna, Diana Ross, David Bowie and Duran Duran. His band Chic was a nominee for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction this year and has long deserved to get in, on the strength of the great “Good Times” alone for its embodiment of disco and its influence on hip-hop.
     Not only is Rodgers one of dance music's founding fathers, but he is also a world-class thinker. (His explanation of how “Good Times” was a political reaction to the late '70s stagflation and the oil crisis is a thrill to hear.) He is also an extraordinarily nice guy.
     Get well soon, Nile.

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