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EXCLUSIVE: Nile Rodgers opens up on Donald Trump, how to heal a divided nation and the importance of musical therapy at Christmas

Nile Rodgers spoke exclusively to GMB's Richard Arnold about everything from Donald Trump and how to heal a divided US to his digital carol service in aid of Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy.

On Tuesday December 15 from 7pm a galaxy of stars, including Cliff Richards, Florence Welch, The Who's Roger Daltrey, Kaiser Chiefs and Simple Minds will perform from their homes around the world, as well as Abbey Road Studios and St Luke's Church in London.

Nordoff Robbins music therapy charity aims to enrich the lives of people affected by life-limiting illness, isolation or disability, through music. The music therapy charity is expecting to lose around 75% of their fundraising income due to Coronavirus. 

The service, also featuring OneRepublic, Rebecca Ferguson, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, James Dean Bradfield from Manic Street Preachers and The Script's Danny O'Donoghue, is free to watch and audiences are invited to donate. The Stars Come Out To Sing At Christmas will feature readings, performances and festive messages.

When talking about how important musical therapy is, especially at Christmas, Rodgers said: "My guitar is my security blanket, without it I feel a little nervous. I'm going to have to do a job, which is uncharacteristically weird. Usually someone is introducing me and I get to perform and leave. 

"Music has been my saviour without question, I had what some would call a traumatic childhood, although I believe it helped me overcome many obstacles and turned me into who I am. My aunt suffered from dementia, she suffered in a coma for five years before she passed. But every time we visited her we would sing Hey Jude and she would come out of it and sing it along with us."

And he had some powerful words when it came to how to heal a divided US and what Donald Trump's legacy might be.

"It's so difficult to tell whether we're going in a healing direction. We're really a nation divided right now, I've never seen it like this. There's so much positivity, but so much negativity too. Some are really thrilled about where we're going but some are so angry about it. I can't understand the extreme divisiveness," he said.

"I'm ever the optimist so I'm just hoping that it starts to make sense to people. That the next administration is really successful. That the medication is going to be successful against the Covid-19 cases."

On Trump: "I don't know what Trump's legacy will be amongst the historians. Trump is someone I've known personally in a weird way just being a New Yorker in the club scene, our circle of friends are actually very well connected. I don't really understand it... I don't know what his legacy will be or how it will be written.

"There will be a lot of ambivalence. We're so divided that some people will see him as someone with a lot of clarity and focus etc, but I'll stand back and be like "damn, what world are you living in?". Every administration is caught in the slipstream of the progress or lack thereof of the previous administration.

"Hopefully the country will start to get more like that, as opposed to the way it currently is. We had certainly taken on the personality of our current leader, we've never been more aggressive.

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