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In 2016, the lives of several legendary and iconic musicians, including Prince, Natalie Cole and David Bowie, were taken away too soon, leaving the music industry completely shocked and speechless.

For co-founding artist of Chic and legendary composer, Nile Rodgers, the deaths of some of his dearest friends, including Bowie, were what he calls “stressful.”

“This has been a particularly stressful year in the music business,” Rodgers told HipHollywood exclusively during the EBONY Power 100 Gala. “So many people have passed away.”

Nile, who accepted the Icon Award during the gala, continued, “For me, it was unexpected because I know a lot of people who were my friends that didn’t even tell me they were ill. Then when I found out what they passed away from, I was pretty shocked.”

He added, “I guess we’re just getting to that point, that arc in life where we’re starting to go. Hopefully I’ll hang around a few more years.”

Nile was very close with Bowie, who picked up a few Grammy nominations for his final album, Blackstar. 

Although the album was not acknowledged in some of the major categories, Bowie did pick up three nods in the rock categories: The track “Blackstar” was nominated for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance nominations, while the LP was nominated for Best Alternative Album category.

Bowie died on January 10 at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer.

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