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(Credit: Dustin Tramel)


Patrick Adams, disco legend and Nile Rodgers' "greatest influence", has died at 72

The legendary disco and R&B innovator Patrick Adams, who was disco icon Nile Rodgers’ “biggest influence”, has died aged 72.

Adams’s daughter, Joi Sanchez, wrote on Facebook to confirm the news. “He who dubbed me joy at birth, taught me how to live in love, made himself unforgettable in every way to me and to so many others in the world. Patrick Adams has moved on but some of us, like me, will forever be stuck [happily] in what he created for us and by us,” wrote Sanchez. No cause of death was given.

The New York musician first fell in love with music after watching The Beatles live on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Not long after, he had found himself an electric guitar and set off on a musical journey of his own. A range of musical styles influenced Adams and he tried his hand at most of them before settling with his first group, the R&B quartet The Sparks. 

After being invited on tour with The Commodores and Jerry Butler along with The Sparks. Over the early 1970s, Adams also had a stint in the business side of the music world and became manager at Perception/Today Records. Following this, he branched out on a solo mission.

After a patchy start, everything changed for Adams after a night out in 1975 when he encountered Donna Summer’s ‘Love to Love You Baby’ for the first time. Just like when he first saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, he was transformed. Thus Adams began his historic voyage into disco.

Under the stage name Cloud One, Adams and his various collaborators set about making some early disco material; first up was the single ‘Atmosphere Strut’. Moving toward his first album as Cloud One, Adams had another successful hit with ‘Disco Juice’. After this early success in disco, it wasn’t long before he found himself in the studio alongside the likes of  Sister Sledge, Musique, Loleatta Holloway, Eddie Kendricks, Gladys Knight, Black Ivory and Salt-N-Pepa.

“Patrick Adams is not only one of my favourite composers/producers, he’s also one of my greatest influences,” Nile Rodgers told Red Bull Music Academy in 2017. “Though composers like to think we’re being original, I don’t mind admitting that I sometimes copy bits of Patrick’s chord progressions.”

He added: “They were some of the cleverest and vibey back in the day when started CHIC. It’s easy to give props for the big tunes like ‘In The Bush,’ ‘Caught Up In One Night Love Affairs,’ but I have massive love for songs like ‘I’m A Love Bug,’ and ‘Dance & Shake Your Tambourine.’ Patrick is a master at keeping butts on the dancefloor. A true music machine!”

Listen to ‘Atmosphere Strut’ by Cloud One below.