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Nile Rodgers marks 70th birthday by donating $1 million to his charitable foundation

Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns

Nile Rodgers celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday. In honor of the milestone, and to mark the 20th anniversary of his We Are Family Foundation, the legendary guitarist, producer and songwriter is donating $1 million to the organization.

We Are Family Foundation seeks to promote cultural diversity, and to support and encourage young people who are involved with programs that address basic human needs and work toward creating a more peaceful world.

“My mother used to say, ‘It’s better to give than to receive,'” Rodgers says. “I knew the best thing I could do to celebrate my 70th birthday and the 20th anniversary of WAFF was to provide a million-dollar endowment to sustain the foundation’s important work. Our Global Teen Leaders and Youth to the Front Fund ‘Frontliners’ give us their all and this is the least I can do to continue supporting them.”

In 2020, the foundation launched its Youth to the Front Fund, which supports youth activists under age 30 and youth-led organizations and initiatives focused on fighting racism and racial injustice in the U.S. and around the world.

In conjunction with Rodgers’ announcement about the generous endowment, the We Are Family Foundation revealed the latest list of “Frontliners,” almost 30 young activists from around the world who will receive financial assistance from the fund to aid in their various projects.

Rodgers is best known as a co-founding member of the influential funk/R&B group Chic, and he continues to lead the current incarnation of the band. Nile has written and produced songs for an impressive list of well-known artists.

He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 in the Musical Excellence category.

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