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Donna Summer

Donna Summer

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Also Known As: Ladonna Adrian Gaines Died: May 17, 2012
Born: December 31, 1948 Cause of Death: Lung Cancer
Birth Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

According to Billboard magazine, singer Donna Summer was the eighth most successful female recording artist in history, a fact borne out by her incredible run of hits between 1976 and 1984, which included four consecutive No. 1 singles with "MacArthur Park," "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff" and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" with Barbra Streisand. After an unremarkable beginning as a recording artist in Germany, Summer broke into the U.S. market with the eyebrow-raising "Love to Love You Baby," a 17-plus-minute opus of unbridled sexuality built around Summer's ecstatic moans. Producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, who oversaw the track, shepherded much of Summer's subsequent efforts, which moved effortlessly from gospel-inspired R&B to pure disco on the Oscar-winning "Last Dance" to proto-electronica on the influential "I Feel Love." Personal problems and a sea change in the music industry capsized Summer's career for much of the 1980s, but she reemerged in the late 1990s with a string of top dance singles, which reaffirmed her status as one of the reigning queens of that genre. Her revival in the new millennium made Summer one of the few stars of the disco era to enjoy chart success in later...

According to Billboard magazine, singer Donna Summer was the eighth most successful female recording artist in history, a fact borne out by her incredible run of hits between 1976 and 1984, which included four consecutive No. 1 singles with "MacArthur Park," "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff" and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)" with Barbra Streisand. After an unremarkable beginning as a recording artist in Germany, Summer broke into the U.S. market with the eyebrow-raising "Love to Love You Baby," a 17-plus-minute opus of unbridled sexuality built around Summer's ecstatic moans. Producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, who oversaw the track, shepherded much of Summer's subsequent efforts, which moved effortlessly from gospel-inspired R&B to pure disco on the Oscar-winning "Last Dance" to proto-electronica on the influential "I Feel Love." Personal problems and a sea change in the music industry capsized Summer's career for much of the 1980s, but she reemerged in the late 1990s with a string of top dance singles, which reaffirmed her status as one of the reigning queens of that genre. Her revival in the new millennium made Summer one of the few stars of the disco era to enjoy chart success in later years, and cemented her status as one of the leading lights of late 20th century popular music.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Began singing at her local church in Boston, MA
1967:
Auditioned for a role in the Broadway musical "Hair"; did not land Broadway production, but joined the German touring company
:
Met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte while singing backup for Three Dog Night
1974:
Released debut album <i>Lady of the Night</i>; not released in the U.S., but yielded European hit single "The Hostage"
1975:
Recorded disco track "Love to Love You Baby," co-written with Moroder and Bellotte; single peaked at No. 2 on the <i>Billboard</i> Hot 100
1977:
Released the hit albums <i>I Remember Yesterday</i> (featuring "I Feel Love") and <i>Once Upon a Time</i>
1978:
Made feature acting debut in "Thank God It's Friday"; won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "Last Dance" off the film's soundtrack
1978:
Earned first No. 1 in the U.S. with a cover of the Richard Harris ballad "MacArthur Park"
1979:
Released the highly successful <i>Bad Girls</i>, which included No. 1 singles "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff"
1980:
Recorded first non-disco album, the rock and New Wave-influenced <i>The Wanderer</i>
1983:
Returned to her dance roots with the hit title track off <i>She Works Hard for the Money</i>
1989:
Made a comeback with "This Time I Know It's For Real"; single reached Top 10 in U.S. and Europe
1994:
Celebrated her gospel beginnings with the holiday release <i>Christmas Spirit</i>
1994:
Guest starred on ABC sitcom "Family Matters" as Steve Urkel's (Jaleel White) aunt
1999:
Appeared on the televised special "VH1 Presents Donna Summer: Live and More... Encore!"
2004:
Inducted to the Dance Music Hall of Fame alongside The Bee Gees
2008:
Released first album in 14 years, <i>Crayons</i>
2009:
Performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway in honor of President Barack Obama
2012:
Announced as an inductee (posthumous) into the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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