France Honors Daniel Glass and Nile Rodgers With the Order of Arts and Letters

November 16, 2016 | By French Culture

New York City, November 15, 2016 - Music industry executive, Daniel Glass, and Grammy Award winning record producer, songwriter, musician, composer, and guitarist, Nile Rodgers, and have been conferred the insignia of the Order of Arts and Letters by Thomas Michelon, Deputy Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at a ceremony taking place at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Given under the jurisdiction of the French Minister of Culture and Communications, the Order of Arts and Letters was established in 1957 to recognize eminent people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.

Founder and CEO of Glassnote Entertainment Group, Daniel Glass got his start as a DJ as the world famous Discotheque Regine’s in NYC.  From there he worked for indie dance label SAM Records where he placed an emphasis on developing careers rather than individual hit singles. Soon thereafter, he joined Chrysalis Records in 1983 as Director of New Music Marketing. During this time, he helped cultivate the careers of musical legends such as Billy Idol, Jethro Tull, and Sinead O’Connor.  He would go on to found Rising Tide Records, which would later become Universal Records. While there, he aligned himself with independent labels such as Kedar Entertainment and Mojo Records.  Over his career Glass has worked with superstars such as Erykah Badu, Blur, Wilson Phillips, Arrested Development and more.

In 2007, Glass created the Glassnote Entertainment Group. Since then, it has greatly enriched the music industry and counts artists such as Two Door Cinema Club, Mumford & Sons, CHVRCHES, and Childish Gambino among its ranks. Among artists signed to the label is the French band and Grammy Award winning Phoenix. Glassnote Records became the first independent record label to have four of its artists in the top 10 albums of the Billboard charts and has been named Best Indie Label by Rolling Stone. 

Widely recognized as a mentor and trailblazer, in June 2016 Daniel received the International Midem Award for Passion, Talent and Achievement at the 50th Anniversary celebration in Cannes.

 “Daniel Glass is a truly a musical visionary and an accomplished entrepreneur” said Deputy cultural counselor Thomas Michelon, during the ceremony, “he has a talent for understanding and foreseeing musical trends, and a deep understanding of the music industry. His career has been marked by strong relationships with artists, a deep love of music, and tremendous success.”

Nile Rodgers has produced and collaborated with some of the most acclaimed musicians of the past four decades including Daft Punk, Diana Ross, Sheena Easton, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Duran Duran, Madonna, INXS, Britney Spears, Spoons, Laurie Anderson, Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga, Kylie Minogue, Christina Aguilera, and many more. His productions have resulted in the sales of 200 million albums and 50 million singles all over the world. A prolific and innovative musician, Rodgers is considered a musical genius whose work has defined the sound of pop music for over forty years.

As a guitarist, Rodgers co-founded the band Chic in 1976 along with bassist Bernard Edwards. Chic became one of the most successful bands of the disco era. Some of their notable hits include Le Freak (1978), for which Rodgers was placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and Good Times (1979). Today, Chic has been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame four times and in 2005, Rodgers was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York. In 2015, he received the Golden Camera Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In the late 1970’s, Rodgers began producing records. He became the producer behind classics such as David Bowie’s best-selling album, Let’s Dance, as well as Madonna’s Like a Virgin and Duran Duran's Notorious.  He also produced albums for Grace Jones, Earth, Wind and Fire's vocalist Phillip Bailey, and Al Jarreau.

Rodgers is also known for his humanitarian acts and promotion of social justice throughout the years. He was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement, joining the Black Panthers. Following 9/11, he founded the We Are Family Foundation, aimed at promoting healing for families and encouraging young people. The foundation holds conferences, events, and mentorship programs. The foundation went on to also found schools across Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Malawi, and hosts programs related to providing clean water throughout Africa and ending cyberbullying among youth, among other service projects. In his music and lyrics, Rodgers strives to promote his mission of obtaining peace and justice throughout the world.

In recent years, Rodgers has collaborated on numerous occasions with French music duo Daft Punk, as both a musician and producer. He co-wrote and played guitar on three tracks including the 2013 world-renowned hit Get Lucky, and has won three Grammy Awards for his work with Daft Punk including Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

“Nile Rodgers puts an amazing level of musicianship and musical knowledge in every of his songs, his career belongs in the history of great avant-garde in the field as much as the history of great pop music.” said Thomas Michelon, “he redefines the sound of pop music, which is considered part of the global collective unconsciousness, while the strength of his music transcends every trend.”

The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communications.  American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman. 

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop, Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.

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Media Contact: Camille Desprez, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, camille.desprez@diplomatie.gouv.fr, +1.212.439.1417
 

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