Hope you have enjoyed the music of Disco.
We end this week of Disco with its Queen-Donna Summer.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Sommer, later Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach #1 on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.
Born into a devoutly Christian middle-class family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front 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 West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer. After their divorce, she would keep his surname for her stage name; dropping the “o” and replacing it with a “u” for “Summer”.
After returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. The song was released in 1975 to mass commercial success. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park”, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)”, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following.
She struggled with depression and addiction, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.
Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.