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Nile Rodgers Talks About Meeting Adam Lambert

Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert
Chris Jackson / Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Not that long ago, it seemed like an aggressive form of prostate cancer might bring an early end to Nile Rodgers’ legendary career.

But a little over two years after publicly revealing his diagnosis, he’s cancer-free and just as busy as ever — not only with his own music, but continuing to produce new tracks for a diverse array of artists that currently includes Daft Punk and Adam Lambert.

“The great thing about today’s musical climate is I really just do what I want to do, and a lot of the artists feel like the old rock & roll artists, that they can do whatever they want to do,” Rodgers explained to Rolling Stone during a recent chat. “And that’s what’s gotten me so excited about the EDM movement. Every artist I talk to, we just get on the phone and make our own deals and we’re, like, at it the next day or the next week.”

Lambert isn’t exactly EDM, but he still managed to win Rodgers’ attention. Explaining people are always asking him, “‘Yo, you want to play on my record?,’” Rodgers recalled, “I didn’t even know who Adam Lambert was, really. I don’t watch ‘American Idol.’ The guy who contacted me on Twitter to do the Adam Lambert record was a guy called Sam Sparro, who did a record called ‘Black and Gold’ which I thought was the s—.”

As Rodgers sees it, his current flurry of activity was sparked by his work with Daft Punk. “The collaboration felt so unbelievably natural that it made me realize that I need to be in the studio with people,” he explained. “I love partnering with people. And then from that moment, a windfall of recording started happening. I just started going in with whomever I could.”

For Rodgers, who parlayed his hits with funk/R&B legends Chic into a torrid multi-platinum production career during the ’80s, this is a case of history repeating. “Sometimes you’re on a roll and you just keep knocking ‘em out the park,” he mused. “I had that roll in the late ’70s with Chic and then I picked it up again right after Bowie where it’s a string. I feel even at this age I’m in the space right now where I’m in the zone.”

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