Nile Rodgers and Chic have helped raise £125,000 for music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. Along with his band, the musician, producer and songwriter stepped in to headline the charity’s carol service at the last minute after previously confirmed headliners The Who were forced to pull out.
The annual fundraising service, which took place in Chelsea, London, on December 13 also received support from former Bon Jovi guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Richie Sambora.
Rodgers and Chic performed a selection of classic hits including “Le Freak,” “We Are Family,” “Everybody Dance,” “Good Times,” “Get Lucky,” “Rapper’s Delight” and a version of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”
Sambora performed Bon Jovi hits “Livin’ On A Prayer,” “It’s My Life” and “Wanted Dead Or Alive,” as well as a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in the intimate setting of St Luke’s Church.
Rodgers co-founded Chic in 1972 and received the Lifetime Achievement award at the MOBO Awards last month.
Actor Josette Simon, who most recently starred in Netflix’s Anatomy Of A Scandal and the 2020 remake of The Witches, gave a reading at the service, as did actress Jemma Redgrave.
The money raised at the event will help Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists to support vulnerable people who suffer from life-limiting illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation through the use of music therapy.
In 2021, Nordoff Robbins’ music therapists reached 8,713 individuals throughout the year, holding 35,500 therapy sessions, according to the charity. In the same year Nordoff Robbins also worked with 318 partner organizations such as schools, care homes and hospices to provide music therapy.
Following the fundraising carol service, Nordoff Robbins CEO Sandra Schembri said: “Music and the festive season go hand in hand, and here at Nordoff Robbins, people and music are at the heart of everything we do. Thanks to the money raised through this wonderful annual concert, we can deliver music therapy to more clients across the UK, including some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“We believe that music is a superpower. Imagine if music was the only way you were able to communicate. Now imagine a world with no music – it’s unthinkable. Music can offer people true inclusion and belonging, and access to it must be a human right.
“That’s why we’re so thankful to Nile, Richie, Josette, Jemma and all the artists involved, and to our sponsor, Merck Mercuriadis and Hipgnosis Songs, who helped us to celebrate the festive season with an incredible opportunity to join such a shining line up of stars in a spectacular setting.”