Donna Summer is a legendary American singer, songwriter, and artist, best known for a string of dance hits in the 1970s that earned her the title Queen of Disco and as one of the few disco-based artists to have longevity on the charts into the late-1980s. Summer's collection has expanded to include traditional R&B, rock, and mainstream pop and even gospel.
Early life and career
She was born in Massachusetts. She sang in church and later joined a rock group called The Crow as a teenager. At eighteen, Gaines left home and school to take up a supporting role in the Broadway musical, Hair.
Early success and infamy
While singing back-up for groups she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. With these producers, Summer issued her first album, Lady of the Night which made #1 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands and #2 in Germany. Summer approached Moroder and Bellotte with an idea for a song in the late summer of 1975. She came up with the lyric Love To Love You Baby. He had the idea that she should moan and groan in an orgasmic way, but Summer was unsure of the idea. Eventually she agreed to record the song as a demo to give to someone else.
Continued success in music
Summer acted in the film Thank God It's Friday in 1978, and released the hit single, Last Dance. The song became another monumental hit for Summer reaching number-three on the Billboard Hot 100 and resulted in her first Grammy win. Summer also recorded a side-long version of Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'Aime which was very similar in style to Love To Love You Baby.
The Wanderer and She Works Hard for the Money
1980's The Wanderer Summer's first Geffen release was something of a departure and was closer to a rock/New Wave affair. Though two of the songs were hits on the dance charts and saw Summer attempting to reach the audience like Blondie and Pat Benatar. The title track was hitting #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and earning another million-selling Gold US 45. The album was a sales disappointment however, selling a modest 600,000 copies in the US.
Another Place and Time album was collaboration with England's Top Dance-pop Production Team Stock Aitken Waterman. This Time I Know It's For Real, became her fourteenth top ten Billboard Hot 100 hit in U.S. A second single, I Don't Wanna Get Hurt was a Top Ten UK hit. The third single, Love's About To Change My Heart became a moderate pop chart and dance chart hit.
Summer was among the first artists to be inducted into the newly formed Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City on September 20, 2004. She was inducted in Artist Inductees, along with fellow disco legends The Bee Gees and Barry White and Record Inductees for her classic hit I Feel Love. In October 2004, Summer added to her credits, when she performed God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch at Game 2 of the 2004 World Series at Boston's Fenway Park. Two of her most recent singles reached the Top 10 on both the Hot Dance Airplay and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts.
Awards and recognition
Summer is the recipient of five Grammy Awards. She has also won Grammys in the R&B and gospel categories. Summer has fourteen top ten pop singles and overall has netted 16 number-one singles in various Billboard charts. Summer received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1992. Summer was one of the first to be inducted to the Dance Music Hall of Fame and was inducted twice. Summer's successful music career has landed her as the eighth most successful female recording artist in the history of Billboard behind contemporary female acts as Whitney Houston and Madonna among others.