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MusicNotes


Hal Leonard


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Wrote and co-wrote over 350 songs 

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With Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards was responsible for writing and producing the songs for their band Chic, including the hits "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Everybody Dance", "Le Freak", "I Want Your Love" and "Good Times.” The team also wrote and produced hits for other artists such as Norma Jean Wright, Sister Sledge, Sheila and B. Devotion, Diana Ross, Johnny Mathis, Debbie Harry and Fonzi Thornton, with major hits including “He’s the Greatest Dancer” and “We Are Family” (both for Sister Sledge) and “I’m Coming Out” (Diana Ross). Edwards was also a superb bass player, as noted by Kathy Sledge in a shout-out to him in “We Are Family.” Writing and producing solo, he provided Ross with her hit “Telephone.”


Edwards was born October 31, 1952 in Greenville, N.C., and grew up in Brooklyn. He met Rodgers in the early 1970s when both worked as musicians in the Sesame Street touring theatrical show. They formed a funk rock band called The Boys and then in 1972, the Big Apple Band, which served as a backup for the soul group New York City, which had the hit “I’m Doing Fine Now.” They also worked with artists including Ashford & Simpson and Luther Vandross, and in 1976, formed Chic—also with Boys’ drummer Tony Thompson, keyboardist Raymond Jones and singer Norma Jean Wright.


Chic dominated the disco, funk and soul genres through 1983. That year Edwards released a solo album (Glad to Be Here), and two years later helped form the supergroup Power Station, which he produced and also starred drummer Thompson, hit vocalist Robert Palmer and Duran Duran’s John and Andy Taylor. He produced…

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