Last Dance for the Queen Of Disco Donna Summer 1948 – 2012

by J-Stacknik

Donna Summer was the first female recording artist to have three Number 1 hits in the same year. Photo by Harry Wad

Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco died on May 17th, 2012 after losing her battle with cancer. She was one of the most successful recording artists of the 1970s and 1980s during the heyday of the disco era. With hits like Love To Love You Baby, Hot Stuff, Bad Girl, Last Dance and She Works Hard For The Money, Summers dominated the charts during that time and as the genre grew the media dubbed her “The Queen Of Disco.”

She was born LaDonna Gaines in Boston in 1948, and was raised in a large, devout Christian family. She began her career at her local church knowing that singing would be her career choice. Just weeks before her high school graduation she auditioned and landed a role in the musical Hair and traveled to Munich Germany, where she lived for many years. She actually released an album while living there and it did well in Europe but did not make an impression in her homeland at all.

She released her first single Sally Go Round the Roses under the name Donna Gaines in 1971. She changed her last name to Summer after marrying a German singer, Helmuth Sommer, at the time her first chart hit, Love To Love You Baby reached Number 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 charts in 1975. The breathy single almost didn’t become her first hit. She said it wasn’t a song she planned to release herself it was a work in progress and she thought that if she could get the right singer it could be a hit.

Summer had 32 hits singles with four of them reaching the top of the charts and although most of those hits were in the 70s she continued to have hit songs into the 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s. She won five Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards and was the first African American woman to be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for the video She Works Hard For The Money.

Elton John, who is a good friend of Summer said in a statement “Her records sound as good today as they ever did. That she has never been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a total disgrace especially when I see the second-rate talent that has been inducted, she is a great friend to me and the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will miss her greatly.”

Donna Summer is survived by her husband, singer Bruce Sudano, three daughters and four grandchildren.

Read more:

Donna Summer, Queen Of Disco, Dead at 63 |

Disco Queen Donna Summer Dies at 63 |

Donna Summer – She Works Hard For The Money |


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