Nile Rodgers

LOS ANGELES - FEB 22:  Nile Rodgers at the Elton John Oscar Part

Rodgers in 2015, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Nile Gregory Rodgers, Jr.

Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 19, 1952

Ethnicity: African-American, one quarter African-Bahamian, 1/32 Irish, possibly distant English

Nile Rodgers is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and composer. He is the lead guitarist of band Chic, also known as Nile Rodgers & Chic. He has also been a member of rock and roll band The Honeydrippers, with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant.

He is the son of Beverly Ann and Nile Rodgers.

Nile has stated that a DNA test showed him to have ancestors from the Bini tribe, from the Edo region, Nigeria.

Nile’s paternal grandfather was Leroy Rodgers (the son of Eugene Rodgers and Pauline Shorter). Leroy was born in Georgia.

Nile’s paternal grandmother was named Lenora/Leonora “Nora” Clare. Leonora was born in Florida, the daughter of African-Bahamian immigrants.

Nile’s maternal grandfather was Frederick Lee “Fred” Gooden (later Goodman, the son of Cleveland Gooden, later Goodman, and of Annie Lee Dennard). Frederick was born in Georgia. Cleveland was the son of George Gooden and Canniss. Annie was the daughter of Sandy Dennard and Ida Huoy.

Nile’s maternal grandmother was Alice Clarice “Goodie” Mickens (the daughter of Percy Stanley Mickens and Mabel Ethel Randall). Alice was born in New Jersey. Percy was the son of Abraham Lincoln “Abe” Mickens, who was African-American, and of Alice Watkins/Wicke, who was said to have been an Iroquois Native American; but is listed as born in Virginia, and as being African-American. Nile’s great-grandmother Mabel was the daughter of Lee Randall and Mary Ellen Nicholas. Mary Ellen was the daughter of Dr. Gough, who was a doctor and slave owner, and of Irish descent, and of Caroline, who was black/mixed-race.

Sources: Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny, 2011, by Nile Rodgers

Nile’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Nile’s paternal grandfather, Leroy Rodgers, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Nile’s paternal grandmother, Lenora/Leonora Clare, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nile’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Nile’s maternal grandfather, Frederick Lee Gooden, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nile’s maternal great-grandfather, Cleveland Gooden, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Nile’s maternal great-grandmother, Annie Lee Dennard, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

3 Responses

  1. SzymonOff says:

    He stated on Twitter that his DNA test showed that he is a Beni tribe from the Edo region of Nigeria.

  2. transemacabre says:

    I forgot to mention, her name is Alice Watkins on her marriage record.

  3. transemacabre says:

    Is the Iroquois ancestry confirmed? Percy’s mother appears to be Alice Mickens, who is married to Abraham Lincoln Mickens in the 1900 census and 1905 NJ state census. Alice’s race is listed as “Black” but moreover she was born in Virginia, to parents both born in Virginia. Pretty far from Iroquois territory. She married Abe in 1887. New Jersey, U.S., Marriage Records, 1670-1965 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016.

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