We share our birthday celebrations, 19th September, with many inspirational people. In keeping with our '3 is the magic number' theme, here are three individuals from very different backgrounds and disciplines that we’re proud to share a birthday with.
Sarah Louise "Sadie" Delany
A name many people may not know, and hopefully we’re going to change that. She was an American educator and civil rights pioneer who was the subject, along with her younger sister, Elizabeth "Bessie" Delany, of the New York Times bestselling oral history biography, Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, by journalist Amy Hill Hearth.
Sadie was the first African-American woman permitted to teach domestic science at high-school level in the New York public schools. She became famous, with the publication of the NYT book, at the age of 103.
Sadie was the second-eldest of ten children born to the Rev. Henry Beard Delany, the first black person elected Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, and Nanny Logan Delany, who is simply listed as an educator.
She was raised on the campus of St. Augustine's School (which is now a University) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her father was the Vice-Principal and her mother a teacher and campus administrator. Delany was a graduate of their school in 1910.
By 1916, she had moved to New York, where she attended the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, before transferring to Columbia University earning a Bachelor's degree in education in 1920 and a Master's of education in 1925. She loved to share knowledge and dedicated her life to being a schoolteacher in New York until her retirement in 1960.
Thirty-one years later in 1991, Sadie and her sister Bessie were interviewed by journalist Amy Hearth, who had wrote a feature story about them for The New York Times "Two 'Maiden Ladies' With Century-Old Stories to Tell". A New York book publisher had read the NYT story and asked her if she would write a full-length book about the sisters. The rest is history, Ms. Hearth and the sisters worked closely for two years to create the book, an oral history called Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years, which dealt with the trials and tribulations the sisters had faced during their century of life.
The book was on The New York Times bestseller lists for over 2 years, going on to inspire a Broadway play and a television film. Here’s just 3 snippets of wisdom that came from Sadie and Bessie -
"Am I going to change the world, or am I going to change me? Or maybe change the world a little bit, just by changing me?"
"Even with all my wrinkles! I am beautiful!"
"I never let prejudice stop me from what I wanted to do in this life."
Football was so close to coming home for England this year, Kieran Tripper was part of that team, he is a globally recognised player who has played at the highest levels for some of the greatest teams. His story starts in Bury, Greater Manchester where he played in the school football team and helped them win the Bury Cup twice and Greater Manchester Trophy once. His family are big Manchester United fans, and although he was scouted by United when he was 8, he chose to join arch rivals Manchester City's academy as he had friends within the team and it was more local for him. Clearly Kieran is used to making tough choices and making those choices work for him.
Today he plays as a right-back for Atlético Madrid in La Liga and for the England National team. Kieran started his career in the youth system at Manchester City but failed to make the breakthrough to the first team, being loaned twice to Barnsley. These must have been difficult times, he was so close but just not quite there, finding the motivation to keep going and the resilience to brush the set backs aside cannot have been easy, but he dug deep and got on with the job at hand.
In 2011, he signed for Burnley as part of a season-long loan which was made permanent in January 2012. From here, things flourished and he was named in the Championship PFA Team of the Year for two consecutive seasons in 2012/13 and 2013/14. In 2014, he secured promotion with Burnley to the Premier League as the team finished runners-up in the Championship.
A year later, he signed for Tottenham Hotspur. After four years with Spurs, during which he was part of the squad that finished as runners up in the 2019 Champions League final, he joined Spanish side Atletico Madrid, where he helped the team win the 2020/21 La Liga title.
Kieran has represented England at all levels from under-18 to under-21, featuring in the 2009 UEFA European Under-19 Championship and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He made his senior international debut in June 2017 and was part of the team that reached the semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup as well.
He was recently interviewed in The Independent by Mark Mann-Bryans
“I think we’ve made big steps since the World Cup (2018). As you’ve seen from the start of the tournament to now, we give everything, we don’t stop, we don’t panic, we’re calm.”
Talking ahead of the final, he was rightly proud to be lifting the spirits of the country, aware that he as a player needed to enjoy the moment just as much as the supporters.
“We’re in a final, and it’s something for the fans to be happy about and proud of and enjoy the moment. The fans and everybody in this nation absolutely deserve it.”
Last but not least on this multi birthday blog, we have Nile Rodgers, now, where do we start? The man is a living legend. This is a birthday celebration, we like a good tune and a boogie and this man knows how to make great tunes. Nile Rodgers is incredibly talented - a highly accomplished guitarist, singer-songwriter, record producer and arranger. Rodgers has written, produced, and performed on albums that have sold more than 500 million units and 75 million singles worldwide. He is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, a three-time Grammy Award-winner and the chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Rolling Stone wrote in 2014 that "the full scope of Nile Rodgers' career is still hard to fathom", such is the expanse of the music that he has created, check out his discography. Ready? Here goes…
Founder of Chic, the band was originally formed as the Big Apple Band in 1972 with bassist Bernard Edwards, Chic released their self-titled debut album in 1977, including the hit singles "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Everybody Dance".
The 1978 album C'est Chic included hits "I Want Your Love" and "Le Freak", with the latter selling more than seven million singles worldwide.
The song "Good Times" from the 1979 album Risqué was a number one single on the charts and became one of the most-sampled tracks of all time, used by hip-hop's Sugarhill Gang in "Rapper's Delight", inspiring Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and also inspiring the Daft Punk hit "Around the World".
Daft Punk featured in our Tech Inspired Tunes
Whilst working with Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers wrote and produced music for other artists, including the songs "He's the Greatest Dancer" and "We Are Family" for Sister Sledge and "I'm Coming Out" and "Upside Down" for Diana Ross.
After Chic's breakup in 1983, Rodgers produced several major albums and singles for other artists, including David Bowie's "Let's Dance", "Original Sin" by INXS, Duran Duran's "The Reflex" and "Notorious", Madonna's "Like a Virgin". He later worked with artists including The B-52s, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, The Vaughan Brothers, Bryan Ferry, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga and Daft Punk, winning three Grammy Awards in 2014 for his work on their album Random Access Memories.
A global sensation
In February 2012, Rodgers announced that he was collaborating with electronic band Daft Punk for their album, where he would be "teasing out their R&B influences". The record, Random Access Memories was released in 2013. Rodgers co-wrote and played guitar on three tracks: "Give Life Back to Music", "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Get Lucky".
In April 2013, "Get Lucky" entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 3, just 24 hours after its release! Two weeks later is was No. 1. In an interview at the time, Rodgers said, "I've had big records and Number 1’s. I have had records that were Number 1 in the United States but nowhere else ... I've had records which have done well (in the UK), but not in the States. But to have this ubiquitous record, that is a hit everywhere ... It's amazing to me! I'm out on the road and I can hear it wherever I go. I'm flabbergasted!"
"Get Lucky" became one of the UK's biggest-selling singles of all time.
More accolades (then you can shake a stick at)
Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were nominated to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2013.
In January 2014, Rodgers performed "Get Lucky" with Daft Punk at the Grammy Awards, this was a very special performance featuring Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder. There was also a medley of Robert's big hits including elements of Chic's "Le Freak" and Stevie Wonder's "Another Star".
Rodgers won three Grammy Awards for his work with Daft Punk and Random Access Memories, including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
In March 2014, Rolling Stone named Nile Rodgers one of the 50 Most Important People in EDM (Electronic Dance Music) saying, "The full scope of Nile Rodgers' career is still hard to fathom, and it's not just ongoing, it's in overdrive."
In December 2014, NARAS announced that "Le Freak" would be inducted into The Grammy Hall of Fame.
March 2015, Rodgers released Chic's first single in more than 23 years, "I'll Be There", with a live streamed concert from The Roundhouse in London. The song, created by Rodgers from original Chic outtake tapes of the 70's working with Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson who brought in vocalists Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin. This brilliant piece of recycling, or upcycling to be more accurate, went to #1 on Billboard's Dance Music Chart, June 20th, 2015.
Rodgers collaborated with Lady Gaga to remake Chic's hit, "I Want Your Love" for Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2016 collection video in lieu of a fashion show.
Rodgers and Bernard Edwards were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on June 9, 2016.
In 2017, after 11 nominations for Chic, Rodgers was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an award for Musical Excellence.
"It's sort of bittersweet," says Rodgers. "I'm quite flattered that they believed that I was worthy, but my band Chic didn't win. They plucked me out of the band and said, 'You're better than Chic.' That's wacky to me ... I am flattered and I think it's cool, but I feel like somebody put me in the lifeboat and told my family they can't get in."
June 2017 Rodgers and Chic returned to the Glastonbury Festival, as headliners on the Pyramid Stage, for an audience of close to 100,000.
In June 2018, "Till the World Falls", was released, this was the first single from Nile Rodgers & Chic since 1992, when It's About Time, was released. The song featured Mura Masa, Cosha and Vic Mensa. The album was released in September 2018, and hit the Top 10 in the UK. It was the first Chic record to hit the Top 10 in 25 years. Two singles from the album were subsequently released: "Sober" featuring Craig David and Stefflon Don, and "Do You Wanna Party" featuring LunchMoney Lewis. In December 2018, Nile Rodgers & Chic began their first UK arena tour. Last but not least, they were nominated for a Brit Award in 2019 in the "Best International Group Category".
Doing the right thing
In January 2019, Rodgers offered 600 free tickets to furloughed US Federal workers during the US Government Shutdown to the Nile Rodgers & Chic concert at the MGM National Harbor in Washington, DC.
On 13 November 2020, Rodgers was featured on "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" as part of the BBC Radio 2's Allstars' Children in Need charity single. The single debuted at number 7 on the Official UK Singles Chart and number 1 on both the Official UK Singles Sales Chart and the Official UK Singles Download Chart.
Here and now
In 2021, Rodgers has worked with Jack Savoretti and Keith Urban amongst others. "Who’s Hurting Who ft. Nile Rodgers", was the first single from Savoretti's "Europiana" album which was released in May this year.
In April he had teamed up with Keith Urban and Breland on the music video for "The Cage", a track from Urban's 2020 album The Speed of Now Part 1.
This summer, Rodgers along with Constellation Immersive, launched DiscOasis, an ongoing 70s-themed disco and roller skating pop-up party at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Rancho Palos Verdes. Developed to provide an outside experience during the Covid-19 pandemic, DJ’s select music from crates of records that Rodgers hand-picked from his personal collection.
Birthday thank you's
There you have it, three inspiring people celebrating their birthdays with us on September 19th. Thanks for reading this blog, supporting what we’re doing, it really is appreciated and all that we can think to say is…Let’s dance.
Live I.T Love I.T Wear I.T