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Tony Thompson

From Academic Kids

Tony Thompson (November 15, 1954November 12, 2003) was a session drummer with a long list of studio credits.

He first drummed for '70s group LaBelle, followed by a long tenure with pioneer disco band Chic, where he helped create hits such as "Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)," "Le Freak," and "Good Times."

Following the temporary disbanding of Chic in 1981, Thompson was much in demand with producer Nile Rodgers (Chic's former guitarist), and he appeared with numerous artists such as Diana Ross, Debbie Harry, Sister Sledge, Jody Watley, Madonna, Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Mick Jagger, and David Bowie (on his 1983 Let's Dance album and subsequent Serious Moonlight tour).

The enormous Live Aid charity benefit concert in 1985 saw Thompson joining the remaining members of Led Zeppelin on stage (along with Phil Collins) at John F. Kennedy Stadium, and would ultimately lead to him being asked to join them again as a replacement for John Bonham during a reunion attempt in 1986. The Zeppelin reunion stalled in part because Thompson was in a serious car accident that year and was unable to continue participating.

Thompson was also a full-fledged member of the band Power Station (along with the late Robert Palmer and John and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran). His distinctive heavy drum sound can be heard on their self-titled 1985 debut album and its hit singles "Some Like It Hot" and the remake of the T. Rex song "Get It On (Bang A Gong)".

Thompson died within a month of being diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in November 2003.

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