Nile Rodgers' contribution to popular music has been extremely significant, whether it be penning some of the most influential and popular songs of the disco era with Chic, or producing countless hits for a wide variety of other artists. Born September 19, 1952 in New York, New York, it was clear that Rodgers possessed exceptional musical talent early on, and by the age of 19, was playing guitar as part of the house band for the world famous Apollo Theatre (playing alongside the likes of Aretha Franklin, Funkadelic, etc.). Rodgers soon grew tired of his status as a backup musician, however, and sought to put together a band of his own. He found a like-minded musician in another New York City resident, bassist Bernard Edwards, during the early '70s. For the next few years, Rodgers and Edwards collaborated together, while playing in such obscure bands as the jazz fusion-based Big Apple Band, and the new wave-based Allah & the Knife Wielding Punks. But the duo's love remained in dance music, and their next musical project would put them on the map, as they formed Chic. With exceptional drummer Tony Thompson plus singers Norma Jean Wright and Alfa Anderson rounding out the lineup, Chic quickly grabbed a record deal with Atlantic.