One of the most influential dance music singers of all time
Remembering The Queen Of Disco Donna Summer on her birthday
Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, she became one of the world’s best selling artists during the Disco era in the mid to late 1970’s, starting in 1975 with “Love to Love You Baby”, which was followed by a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Heaven Knows”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (duet with Barbra Streisand), and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco”, while her music gained a global following, but before Disco, Summer was actually part of the 1960’s counterculture and Psychedelic music community, during the late 1960’s she became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she left New York and spent several years living, acting, and singing in Europe, where she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. After that period she returned to the U.S where she had the mentioned string of hit songs. Some stunning facts about her successful career includes being fa ive-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the United States Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the U.S. within a 12-month period. She has reportedly sold over 140 million records worldwide, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Summer earned a total of 32 hit singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in her lifetime, with 14 of those reaching the top ten. She claimed a top 40 hit every year between 1975 and 1984, and from her first top ten hit in 1976, to the end of 1982, she had 12 top ten hits (10 were top five hits), more than any other act during that time period. She returned to the Hot 100’s top five in 1983, and claimed her final top ten hit in 1989 with “This Time I Know It’s for Real”. Her most recent Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with “I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)”. While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned through those decades, Summer remained a force on the U.S. Dance/Club Play Songs chart over her entire career. Despite being a cultural gay community icon, Summer sparkled some controversy during the 1980’s about the gay lifestyle by allegedly saying she didn’t agreed with and that AIDS was a “God punishment to homosexuals”. However, she later said to have never made such statements and apologize to the gay community to that misunderstood. Donna Summer died on May 17, 2012 at age 63 from lung cancer, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard Magazine ranked her as the 6th most successful dance artist of all-time. She remains a strong influence on Dance music and a cultural icon, songs such as “I Feel Love” are still seen as innovative and and timeless dance music classics.
Watch Donna Summer performing live one of her signature songs “I Feel Love” in 1978
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