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Tony Thompson (far right) with the other members of the supergroup Power Station

Tony Thompson (November 15, 1954 – November 12, 2003) was a session drummer best known as a member of Chic. He was raised in the middle-class community of Springfield Gardens, in Queens, NY.


Music Career



Thompson, whose mother was Trinidadian and father was Antiguan descent, first drummed for the 1970s group LaBelle, and then for a short while was a member, with Raymond Jones, of the soul/disco band Ecstasy Passion & Pain. This was followed by a long tenure with the legendary R&B/dance/disco band Chic, where he helped create hits such as "Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," "Le Freak," and "Good Times". He also performed with members of Chic on "We Are Family" and "He's The Greatest Dancer" by Sister Sledge and "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross.

Following the temporary disbanding of Chic in 1983, Chic's former guitarist and bassist, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards became prolific producers, and Thompson's drumming was much in demand among their clients. Thompson appeared with numerous artists such as Jody Watley, Madonna (on her 1984 album Like A Virgin), Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie (on his 1983 Let's Dance album and subsequent Serious Moonlight tour).

Other bands

Thompson was also a full-fledged member of the band Power Station along with Robert Palmer and John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran. The enormous Live Aid charity benefit concert in 1985 saw Thompson playing with the Power Station as well as joining the remaining members of Led Zeppelin on stage (along with Phil Collins) at John F. Kennedy Stadium. During a reunion attempt in 1986, Led Zeppelin again asked Thompson to join them as a replacement for John Bonham; the reunion stalled in part because Thompson was in a serious car accident that year and was unable to continue participating.[1]

Thompson would go on to join groups such as The Distance and Crown Of Thorns with Jean Beauvoir (playing on their first album Crown Of Thorns before leaving the band and subsequently replaced by Hawk Lopez). In the mid 1990s he rejoined Power Station for their 1996 reunion album Living In Fear and subsequent tour.

Thompson was also bass guitarist in New York City band That Hideous Strength before his death.

Death and legacy

Thompson died within a month of being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) on November 12, 2003, in Los Angeles, just two months after Power Station bandmate Robert Palmer's death from a heart attack. Thompson was a member of the band Non-Toxic at the time of his death. On September 19, 2005 Tony and the rest of the Chic band members were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ Zildjian artist profile

External links


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