1983 – present (38 years)
New York, New York, United States
- Keith Rodgers
Break Machine was the name of a 1980s rap act fronted by Keith Rodgers and produced by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo, the team behind the Village People.
Rodgers was a musician and presenter of a rap radio show on the New York station WHBI 105.9. In 1981, he recorded a single, "Searching Rap" under the name Bon Rock. This brought him to the attention of Morali and Belolo, the French producers who had been successful in the late 70s with the Village People, and who were looking for new styles after the decline of disco. In 1982, together with the musician Fred Zarr, they released the single Street Dance, which was an international hit and one of the earliest mainstream breakthroughs for hip hop, although its style is considered more of a pop interpretation of that genre rather than an accurate reflection of the underground music of the time.
Today, Keith Rodgers is still a musician, working under the name SugaBear.
"Street Dance" peaked at #3 on the UK singles charts in March 1984 and was the 42nd best-selling single of that year. It hit #1 in Sweden and Norway. In Germany, it was the 78th best-selling single of 1984. It charted #11 in Italy.
"Street Dance"'s strongest chart performance was in France, where it was #1 for two weeks, selling over a million copies and becoming the 86th best-selling single of all time according to a list released in 2004 by the Syndicat National de l'Edition Phonographique
Subsequent singles "Break Dance Party" and "Are You Ready" both reached the British charts, peaking at number 9 and number 27 respectively. The LP Break Machine reached number 17.
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