Soul And / Or Related Artists
bernard edwards

Bernard Edwards

b. Bernard Edwards, 31st October 1952, Greenville, North Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 18th April 1996, Tokyo, Japan.

Bernard Edwards was born in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina.

Bernard first met Nile Rodgers in 1970.

Bernard Edwards

nile rodgers and bernard edwards

Moving to New York, the pair began playing in the clubs and bars, Bernard on bass and Nile on guitar.

Here they met drummer Tony Thompson.

The trio formed the Big Apple Band who played as a backup band for the soul group New York City.

One collaboration was with the artist Walter Murphy, who utilised the Big Apple Band on his chart hit 'A Fifth Of Beethoven' in 1976.

The group was, actually, entitled Walter Murphy and the Big Apple Band.

Following this success, Bernard and Nile formed the group Chic adding female vocalists Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin.

There then followed several top twenty hits between 1977 and 1983, including the dance classics 'Good Times', 'My Forbidden Lover' and 'I Want Your Love'.

'Good Times', with it's unique bassline, became the foundation for many rap artist records including 'Rappers Delight' by the Sugarhill Gang and 'Catch The Beat' by T Ski Valley.

Initially, to fund their first records, the pair had to sell their instruments.

Following the 'Believer' album, Bernard and Nile began working on solo projects as well as recording with other artists including ABC, Rod Stewart, Power Station, Starpoint, Missing Persons, and Nona Hendryx.

Bernard Edwards

glad to be here - 1983

Bernard cut his only solo album 'Glad To Be Here' for Atlanic in 1983 and was assisted by Nile and Luther Vandross on artistic chores.

Bernard and Nile reunited for a 1992 Chic LP, 'Chic-ism' for Warner Brothers Records.

At the age of 43, Bernard Edwards died of pneumonia while touring with Chic in Tokyo, Japan, on the 18th of April, 1996.

Bernard was buried near other family members in his home town of Greenwich, Connecticut.

photo's from his final gig at the budokan in japan, 1996

Bernard Edwards

Bernard Edwards

Bernard Edwards

Bernard's passing:

Nile Rogers discovered Bernard the morning after one performance in his hotel room.

According to Nile, Bernard was perfectly healthy but he had started feeling poorly earlier that day.

Nile asked him to cancel the concert because a doctor suggested that he should rest, but Bernard didn't want to disappoint the fans and refused to postpone the show.

Rogers said he actually passed out during the show at one point and had to be helped off the stage for an intermisson between sets.

Nile stated he was awakened at exactly 1:33 a.m. by a disturbing dream regarding all of his friends leaving earth and flying up to heaven, but he thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

The next moring Bernard didn't answer the door of his hotel room, so Nile got a maid to let him in and found Bernard dead on the couch where he had been sleeping.

According to the medical examiner, he died of a rare strain of pneumonia which he was simply unlucky to have caught and went undetected until he fell ill, he died within about 12 hours of first feeling unwell.

The doctor placed his time of death at around 1 am, Nile says he told him '1:33 a.m. to be exact' which is the official time of death that the Japanese medical examiner recorded on the death certificate.

I would like to thank Carl Cumby for the information posted here. Nile Rogers imparted his own story to Carl. Thanks Carl.

Bernard Edwards

Real Player


Glad To Be Here (Atlantic Records 1983)

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