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Nile Rodgers, Merck Mercuriadis Honored By Royal Northern College Of Music

The CHIC frontman and music industry executive have been given honorary professorships by the Manchester conservatoire.

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Photo: Jill Furmanovsky

Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music has awarded industry legends Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis with Honorary Professorships. The pair were honoured on Friday October 2, directly following an online masterclass that they presented to popular music students.

Recognized as one of the most talented and influential musicians, songwriters and producers in the world, guitarist Nile Rodgers’ back catalogue contains some of the greatest sounds of all time.

As the co-founder of CHIC, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping hits like Le Freak and sparked the advent of hip-hop with “Good Times”. He transcends all styles of music across every generation with a body of work that’s garnered him inductions into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most recently, the musician was appointed the first Chief Creative Advisor for the legendary Abbey Road Studios and he is the newly-elected Chair of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

His work in the CHIC Organization and his productions for artists such as David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Madonna have sold over 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide while his innovative, trendsetting collaborations with Daft Punk, Avicii, Sigala, Disclosure, and Sam Smith reflect the vanguard of contemporary music.

A renowned music industry executive and entrepreneur, Merck Mercuriadis’ knowledge of the music business – from artist management to music publishing – is unrivalled. He has managed global artists over the past 30 years, including Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Morrissey, Beyoncé and Iron Maiden, and is the Founder and CEO of the Hipgnosis Songs Fund Ltd, which currently houses over 6000 songs, including “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”, “We Are Family”, “Le Freak” and “Don’t Stop Believin'”.

Based in Manchester, UK, the Royal Northern College Of Music trains exceptionally talented musicians, composers and conductors for successful and sustainable careers in all areas of the music industry. In 2015 it became the only UK conservatoire to offer a four-year undergraduate BMus Degree in Popular Music, with the expertise of international artists such as Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis being integral to the program.

Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis said: “It’s very special for us to be honoured by the Royal Northern College of Music with professorships for our work in music. Music means everything to both of us, it’s central to our bond and our lives, and to be able to assist the Royal Northern College of Music with the terrific work that they do in preparing future generations of music creators and executives is a privilege and responsibility that we take very seriously. Thank you to the Royal Northern College of Music for recognizing our efforts in this wonderful way.”

Professor Linda Merrick, Principal, said: “It is a pleasure to confer Honorary Professorships of the RNCM on Nile Rodgers and Merck Mercuriadis in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in the music industry and I was delighted that they shared their expertise and experience with our students during a masterclass. The past few months have been especially challenging for the higher education and cultural sectors. I know that as this exciting new relationship develops, Nile and Merck will play a significant role in inspiring our young musicians as we work collectively to define the future of music.”

Listen to the best of Nile Rodgers on Apple Music and Spotify.

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