The Funk Duo Who Wrote the 1979 Sister Sledge Disco Anthem “We Are Family”

Chic founding members bassist Bernard Edwards and guitarist Nile Rodgers co-wrote and co-produced eight of Chic’s nine albums together, along with their biggest hits “Le Freak,” “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” and Everybody Dance.”

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Throughout the 1970s through the early ’80s, the duo also wrote and produced several Sister Sledge albums, starting with the group’s 1979 disco hit “We are Family,” the title track from their third album and the first song the duo ever wrote outside of Chic.

[RELATED: 7 Songs You Didn’t Know Nile Rodgers Wrote for Other Artists]

A united disco anthem, “We Are Family” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Dance Club Songs chart.

Rodgers and Edwards followed up their Sister Sledge success by writing and producing back-to-back hits for Diana Ross in 1980 with “Upside Down” and “I”m Coming Out,” and continued working with a number of artists, including Johnny Mathis, Debbie Harry, and Sheila E, among others.

Nile Rodgers

Songwriter, musician, and producer Nile Rodgers has worked with everyone from Madonna, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, The B-52s, Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and countless other artists over more than 40 years, and his featured work on albums has collectively sold more than 500 million copies worldwide.

Rodgers co-produced David Bowie’s Let’s Dance in 1983, Madonna’s breakout album, Like a Virgin (1984), and several albums by Duran Duran (Arena, Astronaut, Notorious, Paper Gods), among many other albums.

In 2014, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” co-written with Rodgers and Pharrell Williams, picked up three Grammy Awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of the Year, and Album of the Year.

Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Rodgers has won multiple Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

Bernard Edwards (1952-1996)

The late bassist and producer who co-founded Chic with Rodgers, Edwards met his future bandmate in the early 1970s in Brooklyn, New York where they formed the Big Apple Band, along with Chic drummer Tony Thompson before forming transforming into Chic with singer Norma Jean Wright in 1976.

By 1983, Edwards released his solo, Glad To Be Here, and helped form the supergroup Power Station with the late Robert Palmer, Tony Thompson, and Duran Duran‘s John and Andy Taylor.

His son Bernard Edwards, Jr. has also produced for Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Busta Rhymes, and a number of other artists.

In 1992, Edwards reunited with Rodgers for another Chic album, Chic-Ism, his final album with the group before his death at the age of 43 in 1996.

 Photo by Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images

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