Friday 17 January 2020

Nile Rodgers hails ‘most inspirational trip’ to the UK

He spoke while attending the Silver Clef Awards in London.

Nile Rodgers and Chic performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)
Nile Rodgers and Chic performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Nile Rodgers has spoken about what an emotional experience it was to perform at Glastonbury now he is cancer-free.

The Chic co-founder last performed at the festival four years ago, after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the illness.

But Rodgers, who recently volunteered to help victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, told the crowd at the Pyramid Stage on Sunday that he felt like the “luckiest man in the world” to return to the festival after receiving the all-clear.

The legendary producer was honoured with the international award at the O2 Silver Clef Awards, presented by musical therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, on Friday and speaking backstage after he collected the prize, he said he had experienced an emotional few days.

He told the Press Association: “It’s been pretty overwhelming, I don’t even know where to begin. From the moment the plane landed it’s just been the most inspirational trip I’ve ever had here and I’ve had lots of them.

“I started years ago with Duran Duran so it’s just amazing. The plane landed and I got a phone call from a good friend of mine who told me you need to come over to this centre and volunteer, I was like ‘wow, you know what cloth I’m cut from’ because that is how I started out, doing community service.

Nile Rodgers (Ben Birchall/PA)

“I got to Grenfell Tower and the woman said ‘Fantastic! Nile Rodgers! You’re here. Now do some work.

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“We packed, we sorted clothing, we did all sorts of things and it was just so inspirational, the spirit of the volunteers and especially how many young people were there, because that is what it’s all about to me, that is the future.

“I felt like a new man, I said to them all ‘Why don’t you come home with me?’ They were so cool.”

Reflecting on his time at Glastonbury, he said: “It was amazing, 200,000 people. Six years ago I didn’t know what was going on in my life and I think that music plays a huge role in that.

Nile Rodgers (John Stillwell/PA)

“One of the first songs I wrote after was Get Lucky with Daft Punk and Pharrell and how lucky do I feel after that?

“Not only a big record but cancer free six-and-a-half years later.”

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