Summer performing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert, December 2009
|Birth name||LaDonna Adrian Gaines|
|Also known as|
|Born||December 31, 1948|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Died||May 17, 2012 63) (aged|
Naples, Florida, U.S.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 –May 17, 2012), widely known by her stage name based on her married name Donna Summer, was an American singer, songwriter and actress. She gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the United States Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the US within a 12-month period. Summer has reportedly sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She also charted two number-one singles on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in the US and a number-one single in the United Kingdom.
Disco is a music genre and subculture that emerged in the 1970s from the United States' urban nightlife scene. The music, the fashion, many song lyrics and other cultural phenomena associated with disco were focused on having a good time on the dance floor of a discotheque to the loud sounds of records being played by a DJ, usually enhanced by coloured lighting effects.
A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.
The Billboard 200 is a record chart ranking the 200 most popular music albums and EPs in the United States. It is published weekly by Billboard magazine. It is frequently used to convey the popularity of an artist or groups of artists. Often, a recording act will be remembered by its "number ones", those of their albums that outperformed all others during at least one week. The chart grew from a weekly top 10 list in 1956 to become a top 200 in May 1967, and acquired its present title in March 1992. Its previous names include the Billboard Top LPs (1961–72), Billboard Top LPs & Tape (1972–84), Billboard Top 200 Albums (1984–85) and Billboard Top Pop Albums.
Summer earned a total of 42 hit singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 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 US Dance Club Songs chart over her entire career.
Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group, a division of Eldridge Industries. It publishes pieces involving news, video, opinion, reviews, events, and style, and is also known for its music charts, including the Hot 100 and Billboard 200, tracking the most popular songs and albums in different genres. It also hosts events, owns a publishing firm, and operates several TV shows.
The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.
"This Time I Know It's for Real" is a song originally recorded by Donna Summer and released on February 13, 1989 as the first single from her album Another Place and Time. Like the rest of the album, the song was written and produced by the British Stock Aitken & Waterman team, though Summer also had a hand in writing this song, as well as three other songs on the album from which this single was released. The song was a worldwide smash success.
While influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer 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 in Munich, where they recorded influential disco hits such as "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love", marking her breakthrough into an international career.
The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed first in the United Kingdom (UK) and then the United States (US) and then spreading throughout much of the Western world between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, with London, New York City, and San Francisco being hotbeds of early countercultural activity. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the Civil Rights Movement continued to grow, and would later become revolutionary with the expansion of the US government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam. As the 1960s progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. Many key movements related to these issues were born or advanced within the counterculture of the 1960s.
Psychedelic rock is a diverse style of rock music inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centred around perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music is intended to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs, most notably LSD. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.
Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.
Summer returned to the United States in 1975, and other hits such as "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" followed. She became known as the Queen of Disco, while her music gained a global following.
"Last Dance" is a song by American singer Donna Summer from the soundtrack album to the 1978 film Thank God It's Friday. It was written by Paul Jabara, co-produced by Summer's regular collaborator Giorgio Moroder and Bob Esty, and mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Stephen Short, whose backing vocals are featured in the song.
"MacArthur Park" is a song written and composed by Jimmy Webb. Richard Harris was the first to record it in 1968; his version peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number four on the UK Singles Chart. "MacArthur Park" was subsequently covered by numerous artists, including a hit version in 1969 by country music singer Waylon Jennings. Among the best-known covers is Donna Summer's disco arrangement from 1978 which topped the Billboard Hot 100.
"Heaven Knows" is a song by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, with guest vocals from Brooklyn Dreams released at the height of her fame during the 1970s disco era. It is adapted from the Live and More album where it is a part of the MacArthur Park Suite. It became a number 4 hit for Summer in the US the week of March 17, 1979, and held there for 3 weeks. The song features singing by the group Brooklyn Dreams with lead vocals by Joe "Bean" Esposito.
Summer died on May 17, 2012, from lung cancer, at her home in Naples, Florida.In her obituary in The Times , she was described as the "undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom" who reached the status of "one of the world's leading female singers." Giorgio Moroder described Summer's work with them on the song "I Feel Love" as "really the start of electronic dance" music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In December 2016, Billboard ranked her as the 6th most successful dance artist of all time.
Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.
Naples is a city in Collier County, Florida, United States. As of 2015, the city's population was about 20,600. Naples is a principal city of the Naples-Marco Island, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of about 322,000 as of 2015. Naples is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the sixth-highest per capita income in the country in 2012, and the second-highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the US.
The Times is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register, adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by News Corp. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently, and have only had common ownership since 1967.
LaDonna Adrian Gaines was born on December 31, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Andrew and Mary Gaines, and was one of seven children.She was raised in the Boston neighborhood of Mission Hill. Her father was a butcher, and her mother was a schoolteacher.
Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 685,094 in 2017, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth-largest in the United States.
Massachusetts, officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island to the south, New Hampshire and Vermont to the north, and New York to the west. The state is named after the Massachusett tribe, which once inhabited the east side of the area, and is one of the original thirteen states. The capital of Massachusetts is Boston, which is also the most populous city in New England. Over 80% of Massachusetts's population lives in the Greater Boston metropolitan area, a region influential upon American history, academia, and industry. Originally dependent on agriculture, fishing and trade, Massachusetts was transformed into a manufacturing center during the Industrial Revolution. During the 20th century, Massachusetts's economy shifted from manufacturing to services. Modern Massachusetts is a global leader in biotechnology, engineering, higher education, finance, and maritime trade.
Mission Hill is a ¾ square mile neighborhood of Boston. The population was estimated at 15,883 in 2011. About 3,000 short-term residents are undergraduates from neighboring colleges and maybe another 1500 are short-term visiting scholars, students, researchers, and degree candidates working in the adjacent Longwood Medical Area for Harvard Medical School, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and/or the Harvard teaching hospitals.
Summer's performance debut occurred at church when she was ten years old, replacing a vocalist who failed to appear.
She attended Boston's Jeremiah E. Burke High School where she performed in school musicals and was considered popular.In 1967, just weeks before graduation, Donna left for New York City where she joined the blues rock band Crow. After a record label passed on signing the group since it was only interested in the band's lead singer, the group agreed to dissolve.
Summer stayed in New York and auditioned for a role in the counterculture musical, Hair . She landed the part of Sheila and agreed to take the role in the Munich production of the show, moving there after getting her parents' reluctant approval.She eventually became fluent in German, singing various songs in that language, and participated in the musicals Ich bin ich (the German version of The Me Nobody Knows ), Godspell , and Show Boat . Within three years, she moved to Vienna, Austria, and joined the Vienna Volksoper. She briefly toured with an ensemble vocal group called FamilyTree, the creation of producer Günter "Yogi" Lauke.
In 1968, Summer released (as Donna Gaines) on Polydor her first single, a German version of the title "Aquarius" from the musical Hair , followed in 1971 by a second single, a remake of the Jaynetts' 1963 hit, "Sally Go 'Round the Roses", from a one-off European deal with Decca Records.In 1969, she issued the single "If You Walkin' Alone" on Philips Records.
She married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973, and gave birth to their daughter (called Mimi) Natalia Pia Melanie Sommer,the same year. She provided backing vocals for producer-keyboardist Veit Marvos on his Ariola Records release Nice to See You, credited as "Gayn Pierre". Several subsequent singles included Donna performing with the group, and the name "Gayn Pierre" was used while performing in Godspell with Helmuth Sommer during 1972.
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While working as a model part-time and back up singer in Munich, Summer met German-based producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte during a recording session for Three Dog Night at Musicland Studios. The trio forged a working partnership, and Donna was signed to their Oasis label in 1974. A demo tape of Summer's work with Moroder and Bellotte led to a deal with the European-distributed label Groovy Records. Due to an error on the record cover, Donna Sommer became Donna Summer; the name stuck. Summer's first album was Lady of the Night . It became a hit in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Belgium on the strength of two songs, "The Hostage" and the title track "Lady of the Night". "The Hostage" reached the top of the charts in France, but was removed from radio playlists in Germany because of the song's subject matter; a high ranking politician that had recently been kidnapped and held for ransom.. One of her first TV appearances was in the television show, Van Oekel's Discohoek , which started the breakthrough of "The Hostage", and in which she gracefully went along with the scripted absurdity and chaos in the show.
In 1975, Summer passed on an idea for a song to Moroder who was working with another artist; a song that would be called "Love to Love You". Summer and Moroder wrote the song together, and together they worked on a demo version with Summer singing the song. Moroder decided that Summer's version should be released. Seeking an American release for the song, it was sent to Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart. Bogart played the song at one of his extravagant industry parties, where it was so popular with the crowd, they insisted that it be played over and over, each time it ended. Bogart requested that Moroder produce a longer version for discothèques. Moroder, Bellotte, and Summer returned with a 17-minute version. Bogart tweaked the title to "Love to Love You Baby", and Casablanca signed Summer, releasing the single in November 1975. The shorter 7" version of the single was promoted by radio stations, while clubs regularly played the 17 minute version (the longer version would also appear on the album).
By early 1976, "Love to Love You Baby" had reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and had become a Gold single, while the album had sold over a million copies. The song generated controversy due to Summer's moans and groans, and some American stations, like those in Europe with the initial release, refused to play it. [ citation needed ]Despite this, "Love to Love You Baby" found chart success in several European countries, and made the Top 5 in the United Kingdom despite the BBC ban. Casablanca wasted no time releasing the album A Love Trilogy , featuring "Try Me, I Know We Can Make It" No. 80 and Summer's remarkable rendition of Barry Manilow's "Could It Be Magic" No. 52, which was followed by Four Seasons of Love , which spawned the singles "Spring Affair" No. 58 and "Winter Melody", No. 43. Both albums went Gold.
In 1977, Summer released the concept album I Remember Yesterday . The song "I Feel Love", reached No. 6 on the Hot 100 chart. and No. 1 in the UK. She received her first American Music Award nomination for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist. The single would attain Gold status and the album went Platinum in the U.S. Another concept album, also released in 1977, was Once Upon a Time , a double album which told of a modern-day Cinderella "rags to riches" story. This album would attain Gold status. Summer recorded the song "Down Deep Inside" as the theme song for the 1977 film The Deep . In 1978, Summer acted in the film Thank God It's Friday , the film met with modest success; the song "Last Dance", reached No. 3 on the Hot 100. The soundtrack and single both went Gold and resulted in Summer winning her first Grammy Award, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Its writer, Paul Jabara, won both an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for the composition. Summer also had "With Your Love" and "Je t'aime... moi non plus", on the soundtrack. Her version of the Jimmy Webb ballad, "MacArthur Park", became her first No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 chart. It was also the only No. 1 hit for songwriter Jimmy Webb; the single went Gold and topped the charts for three weeks. She received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song was featured on Summer's first live album, Live and More , which also became her first album to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and went double-Platinum, selling over 2 million copies. The week of November 11, 1978, Summer became the first female artist of the modern rock era to have the No. 1 single on the Hot 100and album on the Billboard 200 charts, simultaneously. The song "Heaven Knows", which featured Brooklyn Dreams singer Joe "Bean" Esposito; reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 and became another Gold single.
In 1979, Summer won three American Music Awards for Single, Album and Female Artist, in the Disco category at the awards held in January. Summer performed at the world-televised Music for UNICEF Concert, joining contemporaries such as ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart, John Denver, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson for a TV special that raised funds and awareness for the world's children. Artists donated royalties of certain songs, some in perpetuity, to benefit the cause. Summer began work on her next project with Moroder and Bellotte, Bad Girls . Mororder brought in Harold Faltermeyer, with whom he had collaborated on the soundtrack of film Midnight Express , to be the album's arranger. Faltermeyer's role would significantly increase from arranger, as he played keyboards and wrote songs with Summer.[ citation needed ]
The album went triple-Platinum, spawning the number-one hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls", that went Platinum, and the number-two "Dim All the Lights" which went Gold. The week of June 16, 1979, Summer would again have the number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, and the number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart; when "Hot Stuff" regained the top spot on the Hot 100 chart.The following week, "Bad Girls" would be on top of the U.S. Top R&B albums chart, "Hot Stuff" remained at No. 1, and "Bad Girls", the single, would climb into the top five on the Hot 100. The following week, Summer was the first solo artist to have two songs in the Hot 100 top three at the same time. In July 1979, Summer topped the Hot 100 singles chart, and the Billboard 200 albums chart, and the Soul singles chart simultaneously. In the week of November 10, 1979, "Dim All the Lights" peaked at No. 2 for two weeks; the following week "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" would get to No. 3; and once again Summer would have two songs in the top 3, on the Hot 100. One week later, "No More Tears" climbed to No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 chart, and "Dim All the Lights" went to No. 4; she again had two songs in the top 5 of the Hot 100 chart. In the span of eight months, Summer had topped both the singles and albums charts simultaneously, three times. She became the first Female Artist to have three number-one singles in a calendar year. With "Mac Arthur Park", "Hot Stuff", "Bad Girls", and the Barbra Streisand-duet "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)", Summer achieved four number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart within a 12-month period. Including "Heaven Knows" and "Dim All the Lights" she had achieved six top 4 singles on the Hot 100 chart in the same 12-month period. Those songs, along with "Last Dance", "On the Radio", and "The Wanderer", would give her nine Top 5 singles on the Hot 100 chart in just over a two-year period. The single, "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" would sell over 2 million copies becoming a Platinum success. "Hot Stuff" won her a Grammy Award in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance, the first time the category was included. She was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and both Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, as well as Best Disco Recording. That year, Summer played eight sold-out nights at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles.
Casablanca then released On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II , her first (international) greatest hits set, in 1979. The album was mixed differently than the original songs issued on it, with each song segueing into the next, and included two new songs "On the Radio" and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)". It would be the first time that such an album package would be made. The album went No. 1, her third consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, and gained double-Platinum status. "On the Radio", reached No. 5, selling over a million copies in the U.S. alone, making it a Gold single. Summer would again receive a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Summer received four nominations for 1980 American Music Awards, and took home awards for Female Pop/Rock and Female Soul/R&B Artist; and well as Pop/Rock single for "Bad Girls". Just over a week after the awards, Summer had her own nationally televised special, The Donna Summer Special ,which aired on ABC network on January 27, 1980. After the release of the On the Radio album, Summer wanted to branch out into other musical styles, which led to tensions between her and Casablanca Records. Casablanca wanted her to continue to record disco only. Summer was upset with President Neil Bogart over the early release of the single "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)"; she had penned "Dim All the Lights" alone, and was hoping for a number-one hit as a songwriter. Not waiting until "Dim All the Lights" had peaked, or at least another month as promised; Summer felt it had detracted from the singles chart momentum. Summer and the label parted ways in 1980, and she signed with Geffen Records, the new label started by David Geffen. Summer had filed a 10-million-dollar suit against Casablanca; the label counter-sued. In the end, she did not receive any money, but won the rights to her own lucrative song publishing.
Summer's first Geffen album, The Wanderer , featured an eclectic mixture of sounds, bringing elements of rock, rockabilly, new wave and gospel music. The Wanderer was rushed to market. The producers of the album wanted more production time. The album continued Summer's streak of Gold albums with the title track peaking at No. 3 on the Hot 100 chart. Its follow-up singles were, "Cold Love" No.33 and "Who Do You Think You're Foolin'", No.40.Summer was nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Cold Love", and Best Inspirational Performance for "I Believe in Jesus" at the 1981 Grammy Awards.
She would soon be working on her next album. It was to be another double album set. When David Geffen stopped by the studio for a preview, he was warned that it was a work in progress, but it was almost done. That was a mistake, because only a few tracks had been finished, and most of them were in demo phase. He heard enough to tell producers that it was not good enough; the project was canceled. It would be released years later in 1996, under the title I'm a Rainbow .Over the years, a few of the tracks would be released. The song "Highway Runner" appears on the soundtrack for the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High . "Romeo" appears on the Flashdance soundtrack. Both, "I'm a Rainbow" and "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" would be on her 1993 Anthology album.
David Geffen hired top R&B and pop producer Quincy Jones to produce Summer's next album, the eponymously titled Donna Summer . The album took over six months to record as Summer, who was pregnant at the time, found it hard to sing. During the recording of the project, Neil Bogart died of cancer in May 1982 at age 39. Summer would sing at his funeral. The album included the top ten hit "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)"; for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Summer was also nominated for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Protection", penned for her by Bruce Springsteen. Other singles included "State of Independence" (No. 41 pop) and "The Woman in Me" (No. 33 pop).
By then Geffen Records was notified by Polygram Records, who now owned Casablanca, that Summer still needed to deliver them one more album to fulfill her contract with them. Summer recorded and delivered the album She Works Hard for the Money and Polygram released it on its Mercury imprint in 1983. The title song became a major hit, reaching No. 3 on the US Hot 100, as well as No. 1 on Billboard's R&B chart for three weeks. It also garnered Summer another Grammy nomination, for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. "Unconditional Love", which featured the British group Musical Youth, and "Love Has a Mind of Its Own" did not crack the top 40. The album itself was certified Gold, and climbed to No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart; the highest chart position of any female artist in male-dominated 1983. The song "He's a Rebel" would win Summer her third Grammy Award, this time for Best Inspirational Performance.
British director Brian Grant was hired to direct Summer's video for "She Works Hard for the Money". The video was a success, being nominated for Best Female Video and Best Choreography at the 1984 MTV Music Video Awards; Summer became one of the first African-American artists, and the first African-American female artist to have her video played in heavy rotation on MTV. Grant would also be hired to direct Summer's Costa Mesa HBO concert special, A Hot Summers Night. Grant who was a fan of the song State of Independence had an idea for a grand finale. He wanted a large chorus of children to join Summer on stage at the ending of the song. His team looked for local school children in Orange County, to create a chorus of 500 students. On the final day of rehearsals, the kids turned up and they had a full rehearsal. According to Grant, "It looked and sounded amazing. It was a very emotional, very tearful experience for everyone who was there." He thought if this was that kind of reaction in rehearsal, then what an impact it would have in the concert. After the rehearsal Grant was informed that he could not use the kids because the concert would end after 10 pm; children could not be licensed to be on stage at such a late hour (California had strict child labor laws in 1983). "It's a moment that I regret immensely: a grand finale concept I came up with that couldn't be filmed in the end".When the final sequence was filmed, Summer's daughter Mimi and her family members joined her on stage for "State of Independence".
In late 1984, David Geffen enlisted She Works Hard for the Money's producer Michael Omartian to produce Cats Without Claws . Summer was happy that Geffen and his executives stayed out of the studio during the recording and thanked him in the album's liner notes, but her request for the lead single would be rejected. The album failed to attain Gold status in the U.S., her first album not to do so.It was first album not to yield a top ten hit, since 1977's Once Upon a Time . The Drifters cover "There Goes My Baby" reached No. 21 and "Supernatural Love" went to No. 75. She would win another Grammy for Best Inspirational Performance for the song "Forgive Me".
On January 19, 1985, she sang at the nationally televised 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala the day before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan.
In 1986, Harold Faltermeyer wrote the title song for a German ski movie called Fire and Ice, and thought Summer would be ideal to sing the song. He decided to reach out to Summer and, although she was not interested in singing the song, she was very much interested in working with Faltermeyer again. After a meeting with David Geffen he was on board with the project. Summer's main objective for the album was that it have stronger R&B influences; Faltermeyer who had just finished doing the soundtracks to Top Gun and Fletch , was after a tough FM-oriented sound. On completion, Geffen liked what he heard, but his executives did not think there were enough songs that could be deemed singles. They wanted Faltermeyer to produce "Dinner with Gershwin", but he was already busy with another project, so another producer was found. They also substituted a previous recording called "Bad Reputation", songs like "Fascination", fell by the wayside. Geffen had shared the vision of moving Summer into the R&B market as a veteran artist, but these expectations were not met. Faltermeyer, in a 2012 interview with Daeida Magazine, said, "She was an older artist by then and the label's priority may have been on the youth market. The decision was made afterward by executives who were looking for a radio hit for 1987 and not something that would perhaps last beyond then."The label's President Ed Rosenblatt would later admit: "The company never intended to focus on established superstars". The album All Systems Go , did not achieve Gold status. The single "Dinner with Gershwin" (written by Brenda Russell) stalled at 48 in the US, though it became a hit in the UK, peaking at No. 13. The album's title track, "All Systems Go", was released only in the UK, where it peaked at No. 54.
For Summer's next album, Geffen Records hired the British hit production team of Stock Aitken Waterman (or SAW), who enjoyed incredible success writing and producing for such acts as Kylie Minogue, Bananarama, and Rick Astley, among others. The "SAW" team describe the working experience as a labour of love, and said it was their favourite album of all that they had recorded. Geffen decided not to release the album Another Place and Time , and Summer and Geffen Records parted ways in 1988. The album was released in Europe in March 1989 on Warner Bros. Records, which had been Summer's label in Europe since 1982. The single "This Time I Know It's for Real" became a top ten hit in several countries in Europe, prompting Warner Bros.' sister company, Atlantic Records, to sign Summer in the U.S. The single peaked at No. 7 on the US Hot 100 and became her 12th Gold single in America. She scored two more UK hits from the album, "I Don't Wanna Get Hurt" (UK No. 7) and "Love's About to Change My Heart" (UK No. 20).
In 1989, Summer and her husband, Bruce Sudano, had been in talks to do a new kind of reality-based sitcom. It would be based on their own hectic household. At the time, they lived with their children Amanda, Brooklyn and Mimi, two sets of in-laws, and a maid. The television network started changing the premise of the show, making it less funny, says Sudano, "And because we were an interracial couple, they didn't want us to be married anymore". In 1989, this was "an issue. So with that mentality we just backed out of it."
In 1990, a Warner compilation, The Best of Donna Summer, was released (No U.S. issue). The album went Gold in the UK after the song "State of Independence" was re-released there to promote the album. The following year, Summer worked with producer Keith Diamond emerged with the album Mistaken Identity , which included elements of R&B as well as new jack swing. "When Love Cries" continued her success on the R&B charts, reaching No. 18. In 1992, Summer embarked on a world tour and later that year received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.She reunited with Giorgio Moroder, for the song "Carry On", which was included on the 1993, Polygram issued The Donna Summer Anthology , it contained 34 tracks of Summer's material with Casablanca and Mercury Records, and from her tenures with Atlantic and Geffen.
Summer signed with Mercury/Polygram that same year, and in 1994 she re-teamed with producer Michael Omartian to record a Christmas album, Christmas Spirit, which included classic Christmas songs such as "O Holy Night" and "White Christmas" and three Summer-penned songs,"Christmas is Here", "Lamb of God" and the album's title track. Summer was accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Another hits collection, Endless Summer: Greatest Hits , was released featuring eighteen songs. There were two new tracks "Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)" and "Any Way at All". In 1995, "Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)" went No. 1 on the US dance charts, and No. 21 in the UK.
During this time, Summer had role on the sitcom Family Matters as Steve Urkel's (Jaleel White) Aunt Oona. She made a few appearances in 1997. In 1998, Summer received the first Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording, after a remixed version of her 1992 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, "Carry On", was released in 1997. In 1999, Summer was asked to do the Divas 2 concert, but when she went in and met with the producers, it was decided that they would do Donna in concert by herself. Summer taped a live television special for VH1 titled Donna Summer – Live & More Encore , producing the second highest ratings for the network that year, after their annual Divas special. A CD of the event was released by Epic Records and featured two studio recordings, "I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)" and "Love Is the Healer", both of which reached No. 1 on the U.S. dance charts.
In 2000, Summer participated in VH1's third annual Divas special, dedicated to Diana Ross, she sang the Supreme's hit Reflections, and her own material for the show. "The Power of One" is a theme song for the movie Pokémon: The Movie 2000. The dramatic ballad was produced by David Foster and dance remixes were also issued to DJs and became another dance floor success for Summer, peaking at No. 2 on the same chart in 2000. In 2003, Summer issued her autobiography, Ordinary Girl: The Journey, and released a best-of set titled The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer. In 2004, Summer was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame as an artist, alongside the Bee Gees and Barry Gibb. Her classic song, "I Feel Love", was inducted that night as well. In 2004 and 2005, Summer's success on the dance charts continued with the songs "You're So Beautiful" and "I Got Your Love". In 2004, Summer re-recorded the track with the Irish pop band Westlife (with a live performance) for the compilation album, Discomania.
In 2008, Summer released her first studio album of fully original material in 17 years, entitled Crayons . Released on the Sony BMG label Burgundy Records, it peaked at No. 17 on the U.S. Top 200 Album Chart, her highest placing on the chart since 1983. The songs I'm a Fire, Stamp Your Feet and Fame (The Game) all reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart. The ballad Sand on My Feet was released to adult contemporary stations and reached No. 30 on that chart. Summer said, "I wanted this album to have a lot of different directions on it. I did not want it to be any one baby. I just wanted it to be a sampler of flavors and influences from all over the world. There's a touch of this, a little smidgeon of that, a dash of something else, like when you're cooking."
On July 29, 2010, Summer gave an interview with Allvoices.com wherein she was asked if she would consider doing an album of standards. She said, "I actually am, probably in September. I will begin work on a standards album. I will probably do an all-out dance album and a standards album. I'm going to do both and we will release them however we're going to release them. We are not sure which is going first."
In August 2010, Summer released the single "To Paris With Love", co-written with Bruce Roberts and produced by Peter Stengaard. The single went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart in October 2010. That month, Summer also appeared on the PBS television special Hitman Returns: David Foster and Friends . In it, Summer performed with Seal on a medley of the songs "Un-Break My Heart / Crazy / On the Radio" before closing the show with "Last Dance".
On September 15, 2010, Summer appeared as a guest celebrity, singing alongside contestant Prince Poppycock, on the television show America's Got Talent .[ citation needed ]
On June 6, 2011, Summer was a guest judge on the show Platinum Hit , in an episode entitled "Dance Floor Royalty". In July of that same year, Summer was working at Paramount Recording Studios in Los Angeles with her nephew, the rapper and producer O'Mega Red. Together they worked on a track titled "Angel".[ citation needed ]
On December 11, 2012, after four prior nominations, Summer was posthumously announced to be one of the 2013 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.,and was inducted on April 18, 2013, at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater.
A remix album titled Love To Love You Donna, containing new remixes of some of Summer's classics, was released in October 2013."MacArthur Park" was remixed by Laidback Luke for the remix collection; it was also remixed by Ralphi Rosario, which version was released to dance clubs all over America and successfully peaked at No. 1, giving Summer her first posthumous number-one single, and her twentieth number-one on the charts.
In the mid-1980s, Summer was embroiled in a controversy. She allegedly had made anti-gay remarks regarding the then-relatively new disease, AIDS. Summer, by this time a born-again Christian, was alleged to have said that AIDS was a punishment from God for the immoral lifestyles of homosexuals.Because of this alleged statement, thousands of her records were returned to her record company and she became the target of a boycott that hurt her career. Summer publicly denied that she had ever made any such comments, and in a letter to the AIDS campaign group ACT UP in 1989 said it was "a terrible misunderstanding." In explaining why she did not respond to ACT UP sooner, Summer stated "I was unknowingly protected by those around me from the bad press and hate letters. If I have caused you pain, forgive me." She closed her letter with Bible quotes (from Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians).
Also in 1989, Summer told The Advocate magazine that "a couple of the people I write with are gay, and they have been ever since I met them. What people want to do with their bodies is their personal preference."A couple of years later, she filed a lawsuit against New York magazine when it printed an old story about the rumors as fact, just as she was about to release her album Mistaken Identity in 1991. According to a Biography television program dedicated to Summer in which she participated in 1995, the lawsuit was settled out of court, though neither side was able to divulge any details.
Summer was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.She married the Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 and gave birth to their daughter Natalia Pia Melanie Sommer (called Mimi) the same year. The couple divorced in 1976, but Summer kept the anglicized version of her ex-husband's surname as her stage name.
Summer married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano on July 16, 1980. On January 5, 1981, she gave birth to their daughter Brooklyn Sudano (who is now an actress, singer and dancer), and on August 11, 1982 she gave birth to their daughter Amanda Sudano (who in 2005 became one half of the musical duo Johnnyswim alongside Abner Ramirez). In Los Angeles, Summer was also one of the founding members of Oasis Church.
Summer and her family moved from the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1995,where she took time off from show business to focus on painting, a hobby she had begun back in the 1980s.
In 1995, Summer's mother died of pancreatic cancer.Her father died of natural causes in December 2004.
Summer died on May 17, 2012 at her home in Naples, Florida, aged 63, from lung cancer.Generally a nonsmoker, she believed the cancer was caused by inhaling toxic fumes and dust from the September 11 attacks in New York City. Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter considered that belief "unlikely" in a 2019 episode of the Reelz TV series Autopsy: The Last Hours of... , citing the fact that Summer was in a hotel when the attacks happened and would not have been nearly as affected by the resulting dust cloud as first responders. In the Autopsy episode, Dr. Hunter pointed out Summer's family history of cancer as well as her performances in smoked-filled venues. Summer was survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, and her daughters Mimi (with ex-husband Helmut Sommer), Brooklyn Sudano, and Amanda Sudano.
Summer's funeral service was held in Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, on the afternoon of May 23, 2012.The exact location and time of the service were kept secret. Several hundred of Summer's friends and relatives appeared at the funeral, according to CNN. The funeral was a private ceremony, and cameras were not allowed inside the church. She was interred in the Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens cemetery in Nashville.
Singers and music industry professionals around the world reacted to Summer's death.Gloria Gaynor said she was "deeply saddened" and that Summer was "a fine lady and human being". Liza Minnelli said, "She was a queen, The Queen Of Disco, and we will be dancing to her music forever." She said that her "thoughts and prayers are with her family always." Dolly Parton said, "Donna, like Whitney, was one of the greatest voices ever. I loved her records. She was the disco queen and will remain so. I knew her and found her to be one of the most likable and fun people ever. She will be missed and remembered." Janet Jackson wrote that Summer "changed the world of music with her beautiful voice and incredible talent." Barbra Streisand wrote, "I loved doing the duet with her. She had an amazing voice and was so talented. It's so sad." Quincy Jones wrote that Summer's voice was "the heartbeat and soundtrack of a generation." Aretha Franklin said, "It's so shocking to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. In the 1970s, she reigned over the disco era and kept the disco jumping. Who will forget 'Last Dance'? A fine performer and a very nice person." Chaka Khan said, "Donna and I had a friendship for over 30 years. She is one of the few black women I could speak German with and she is one of the few friends I had in this business." Gloria Estefan averred that "It's the end of an era", and posted a photo of herself with Summer. Mary J. Blige tweeted "RIP Donna Summer !!!!!!!! You were truly a game changer !!!" Lenny Kravitz wrote "Rest in peace Donna, You are a pioneer and you have paved the way for so many of us. You transcended race and genre. Respect.. Lenny".
Beyoncé penned a personal note: "Donna Summer made music that moved me both emotionally and physically to get up and dance. You could always hear the deep passion in her voice. She was so much more than the queen of disco she became known for, she was an honest and gifted singer with flawless vocal talent. I've always been a huge fan and was honored to sample one of her songs. She touched many generations and will be sadly missed. My love goes out to her family during this difficult time. Love, B".
David Foster said, "My wife and I are in shock and truly devastated. Donna changed the face of pop culture forever. There is no doubt that music would sound different today if she had never graced us with her talent. She was a super-diva and a true superstar who never compromised when it came to her career or her family. She always did it with class, dignity, grace and zero attitude. She lived in rare air ... She was the most spectacular, considerate, constant, giving, generous and loving friend of 35 years. I am at a total loss trying to process this tragic news."
U.S. President Barack Obama said, "Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Donna Summer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Donna truly was the 'Queen of Disco.' Her voice was unforgettable and the music industry has lost a legend far too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donna's family and her dedicated fans."
Summer was honored at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards ceremony. Singer Natasha Bedingfield honored Summer, calling her "a remarkable woman who brought so much light and who inspired many women, including myself, through her music. And if we can remember her through her music, this will never really be the last dance." After her statement, she began to sing "Last Dance", Summer's Academy Award-winning song.As she sang the song, photos of Summer were displayed on a screen overhead.
Fans paid tribute to Summer by leaving flowers and memorabilia on her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.A few days after her death, her album sales increased by 3,277 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Billboard Magazine reported that the week before she died, Summer sold about 1,000 albums. After her death that number increased to 26,000.
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According to singer Marc Almond, Summer's collaboration with producer Giorgio Moroder "changed the face of music". 's album chart: Live and More, Bad Girls and On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II. She became a cultural icon and her prominence on the dance charts, for which she was referred to as the Queen of Disco, made her not just one of the defining voices of that era, but also an influence on pop artists from Madonna to Beyoncé. Unlike some other stars of disco who faded as the music became less popular in the early 1980s, Summer was able to grow beyond the genre and segued to a pop-rock sound. She had one of her biggest hits in the 1980s with "She Works Hard For the Money", which became another anthem, this time for women's rights. Summer was the first black woman to be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. Summer remained a force on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs chart throughout her career and notched 19 number one singles. Her last studio album, 2008's Crayons, spun off three No. 1 dance/club hits with "I'm a Fire", "Stamp Your Feet" and "Fame (The Game)". In May 2012, it was announced that "I Feel Love" was included in the list of preserved recordings at the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry. Her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page listed Summer as "the Diva De Tutte Dive, the first true diva of the modern pop era".Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on Billboard
Keri Hilson portrayed Donna Summer in her 2010 music video for "Pretty Girl Rock."In 2018, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical , a biographical musical featuring Summer's songs, began performances on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, following a 2017 world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego.
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|2011||Platinum Hit||Guest judge||Episode: "Dance Floor Royalty"|
Bad Girls is the seventh studio album by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, released in April 25, 1979 on Casablanca Records. Originally issued as a double album, Bad Girls became the best-selling album of Summer's career. The album spent 6 weeks at the top of Billboard's Hot 200 albums in 1979, one week on June 16, 1979 and 5 consecutive weeks, from July 7 to August 4, 1979. It contained the number one hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls", and the number two hit "Dim All the Lights".
"I Feel Love" is a song by American recording artist Donna Summer, produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. It was first released on Summer's fifth studio album, I Remember Yesterday (1977). The song became popular during the disco period and is widely credited as "one of the most influential records ever made", originating electronic dance music. Moroder described Summer's work with him on the song as "really the start of electronic dance" music. In 2011, the Library of Congress added the song to the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important". "I Feel love" peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Outside the United States, the song topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The Wanderer is the eighth studio album by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer. It was released on October 20, 1980. The inaugural release of the Geffen Records label, it became a Top 20 album in the United States, with the title track reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
She Works Hard for the Money is the eleventh studio album by Donna Summer, released in 1983. It was her most successful album of the decade, and its title track became one of the biggest hits of her career.
I Remember Yesterday is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer. It was released on May 13, 1977, seven months after the release of her previous album. Like her previous three albums, it was a concept album, this time seeing Summer combining the recent disco sound with various sounds of the past. I Remember Yesterday includes the singles "Can't We Just Sit Down ", "I Feel Love", the title track, "Love's Unkind" and "Back in Love Again". "I Feel Love" and "Love's Unkind" proved to be the album's most popular and enduring hits, the former of which came to be one of Summer's signature songs.
Once Upon a Time is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer. It was released on October 31, 1977, and peaked at No. 26 on the US Billboard 200, number thirteen on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 24 on the UK Albums Chart. The entire album charted as one entry at No. 1 on the Hot Dance/Disco chart. Once Upon a Time includes the singles "I Love You", "Fairy Tale High", "Once Upon a Time" and "Rumour Has It". The album was not as successful as Summer's previous album I Remember Yesterday; it did not spawn a hit single as popular as "I Feel Love".
"On the Radio" is a song by American singer and songwriter Donna Summer, produced by Italian musician Giorgio Moroder, and released in late-1979 on the Casablanca record label. It was written for the soundtrack to the film Foxes and included on Summer's first international compilation album On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II. It was released as a single and became, in February 1980, her tenth top-ten hit in the U.S. as well as her eighth and final consecutive top 5 single. "On the Radio" peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and number nine on the soul chart. The song was also Summer's 14th entry on the Billboard Disco chart, where it peaked at number eight. In Canada, it peaked at number two.
On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II is the first greatest hits album by American singer Donna Summer, released on October 15, 1979. It was her fourth consecutive double album, and also made her the first person ever to take three consecutive double albums to the number one spot on the U.S. album chart. This would become Summer's third multi-platinum album to date.
Donna Summer is the self-titled tenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Donna Summer, released on July 19, 1982. It featured the Top 10, Grammy-nominated "Love Is in Control " single.
The Dance Collection: A Compilation of Twelve Inch Singles is a compilation album by Donna Summer released in 1987. Summer had become the biggest star of the disco era in the 1970s when signed to Casablanca Records. By 1987, Summer was signed to the Geffen label, and Casablanca had long since been bought out by Polygram. This album was released on Polygram's Casablanca label. It features some of her most famous songs from the disco era in their extended 12" versions, as they would often have been played in the clubs during their popularity.
All Systems Go is the thirteenth studio album by Donna Summer. It was released on September 15, 1987; it would be her final release on Geffen Records, which had been Summer's label since 1980. There were two single released in the US, "Dinner with Gershwin" and "Only the Fool Survives". The title cut, "All Systems Go" was released as single in the UK.
The Donna Summer Anthology is a double compilation album by the American singer Donna Summer, released by Polygram Records in 1993. The compilation featured the majority of Summer's best known songs right from the start of her success to the present day. Summer had originally made her name during the disco era in the 1970s and in the decade that followed had experimented with different styles. Most of the tracks on this compilation are the original album versions of the songs, which were sometimes edited down for their release as a single. Included for the first time are two remixed tracks from her then previously unreleased I'm a Rainbow album, which had been recorded in 1981 but had been shelved by her record company at the time. The album also featured the Giorgio Moroder-penned and produced song "Carry On"', marking the first time Summer and Moroder had worked together since 1981. Summer and Moroder, together with Pete Bellotte had written the vast majority of her 1970s disco hits. Four years later, "Carry On" would be remixed and become a big dance hit. It also won Summer a Grammy for Best Dance Recording, her first win since 1984 and her fifth win in total.
Live And More Encore is a live album released by Donna Summer in 1999, an edited version of a televised concert of the same name. Released on Sony Music's sublabel Epic, it featured a live concert which had been filmed especially for the VH-1 channel, and also two new dance tracks, including a re-working of "Time To Say Goodbye", a semi-classical song previously made popular by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. Summer's dance version of the song was entitled "I Will Go with You ". Both of the album's two studio recordings, the other being "Love Is the Healer", reached #1 on the US dance charts, with "I Will Go With You" nominated for a Grammy as Best Dance Recording.
"Love to Love You Baby" is a song by American singer Donna Summer from her second studio album Love to Love You Baby (1975). Produced by Pete Bellotte, and written by Italian musician Giorgio Moroder, Summer, and Bellotte, the song was first released as a single in the Netherlands on June 1975 as "Love to Love You" and then released worldwide on November 1975 as "Love to Love You Baby". It became one of the first disco hits to be released in an extended form.
"Cold Love" is a song by American singer Donna Summer, released as the second single from her album The Wanderer. The song was written by Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey and Pete Bellotte and produced by Bellotte and Giorgio Moroder. It peaked at No. 33 in the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 41 in Cash Box. Summer earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
"Love Is in Control " is a Grammy-nominated single from Donna Summer's self-titled 1982 album. The single was her 12th top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
American Gigolo is the soundtrack album to the 1980 movie of the same name, starring Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton. The music was composed and performed by Giorgio Moroder and was released worldwide on the Polydor label. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard 200 Album charts. All the cuts from the soundtrack also went to number two for five weeks on the disco/dance charts.
Foxes is the soundtrack to the 1980 film of the same name, starring Jodie Foster, Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman, Randy Quaid as well as The Runaways' lead singer Cherie Currie. The double-album was released on the disco label Casablanca Records.
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