I promise to post some more uplifting news very soon, but The New York Times has reported the passing of another great music icon today. Donna Summer, undeniably the Queen of Disco in the 1970′s, lost her battle with cancer on Thursday.
Donna Summer re-found her religion in later life and refused to perform some of her classic, suggestive hits like I Feel Love and Love to Love You Baby. But she remained a very popular performer and no one could fail to move or hum along to her greatest hits, even the “I hate Disco” crowd. She was also a very glamorous lady, which obviously did not harm her popularity.
The Queen of Disco, Who Transcended the Era
By JON PARELES
Donna Summer, the multimillion-selling singer and songwriter whose hits captured both the giddy hedonism of the 1970s disco era and the feisty female solidarity of the early 1980s, died on Thursday at her home in Naples, Fla. She was 63.
The cause was cancer, her publicist, Brian Edwards, said.
With her doe eyes, cascade of hair and sinuous dance moves, Ms. Summer became the queen of disco — the music’s glamorous public face — as well as an idol with a substantial gay following. Her voice, airy and ethereal or brightly assertive, sailed over dance floors and leapt from radios from the mid-’70s well into the ’80s.
She riffled through styles as diverse as funk, electronica, rock and torch song as she piled up 14 Top 10 singles in the United States, among them “Love to Love You Baby,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “Last Dance” and “She Works Hard for the Money.” In the late ’70s she had three double albums in a row that reached No. 1, and each sold more than a million copies.
Her combination of a church-rooted voice and up-to-the-minute dance beats was a template for 1970s disco, and, with her producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, she pioneered electronic dance music with the synthesizer pulse of “I Feel Love” in 1977, a sound that pervades 21st-century pop. Her own recordings have been sampled by, among others, Beyoncé, the Pet Shop Boys, Justice and Nas.
Ms. Summer won Grammy Awards for dance music, R&B, rock and gospel. Her recorded catalog spans the orgasmic moans of her first hit, “Love to Love You Baby,” the streetwalker chronicle of “Bad Girls,” the feminist moxie of “She Works Hard for the Money” and the religious devotion of “Forgive Me,” a gospel song that earned her another Grammy.
Through it all, Ms. Summer’s voice held on to an optimistic spirit and a determination to flourish. She garnered loyal fans. In 2009 she performed in Oslo at the concert honoring the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to President Obama….More at Donna Summer, 1948-2012: Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, Dies at 63
Rest in peace Donna you worked hard for the privilege.
By Max Power
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