Dance music’s greatest Diva, Donna Summer has passed away of cancer today at age 63. Summer broke through in 1975 with “Love To Love You Baby,” which went #2 pop and gold, creating history for a 17-minute song. Her cover of Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic,” reached the R&B Top 30 the next year. “I Feel Love” (#6) and “I Love You” (Top 30 R&B) followed before she crystallized the disco phenomenon with 1978’s #3 gold “Last Dance” from Thank God It’s Friday, the film in which she appeared. The song also won an Oscar as well as a Grammy (Best R&B Female Vocal Performance); her first of five Grammys in four different categories.
She continued her gold streak with Jimmy Webb’s “MacArthur Park” and #4 scored with “Heaven Knows” before 1979’s Bad Girls spun off the #1 platinums “Hot Stuff” (Grammy winner for Best Rock Female Vocal Performance) and “Bad Girls,” and gold “Dim All The Lights.” Summer became the first woman with three solo #1s in one year with “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls” and “MacArthur Park.”
Ending the decade were the #1 gold “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” a duet with Barbra Streisand, and the gold “On The Radio,” which titled her greatest hits package, her third consecutive #1 double album, marking her as the only artist in history with that distinction. Top 10 Summer opened the ‘80s by becoming the first artist signed to Geffen Records, debuting with #3 “The Wanderer.” In 1982 she teamed with Quincy Jones for “Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger)” again Top 10 and a cover of the Jon Anderson-Vangelis track “State Of Independence.” 1983’s #3 “She Works Hard For The Money” preceded a hiatus broken by 1989’s Top 10 “This Time I Know It’s For Real” produced by British dance pop juggernaut Stock Aitken Waterman. Her hit single, “I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro),” debuted at a 1999 VH-1 concert before an adoring audience of both baby boomers and their offspring.
In 2003 Donna published the book “Ordinary Girl: The Journey (Villard Books, a division of Random House),” Summer candidly recounts her journey from singing in a Boston church to her unexpected reign as Queen of Disco as well as the tragedy and spiritual rebirth that followed.
In addition to the numerous professional and personal highs, Ordinary Girl also recounts Summer’s triumphs over adversity: a difficult Boston childhood that consisted of low self-esteem, and two near-death experiences; life in Europe in the late Sixties where she became a victim of domestic violence and nearly died from an infection of the heart; feeling disconnected from the Disco Diva persona of the Seventies which led to a suicide attempt at the height of her fame; and the personal tragedies that led to her spiritual awakening.
From Boston to Munich to New York to Los Angeles and a cast of characters that includes Barbra Streisand, Sophia Loren, David Geffen, Giorgio Moroder, and Sylvester Stallone, Ordinary Girl recounts Donna Summer’s extraordinary journey from childhood to pop culture immortality.
UrbanBridgez.com would like to send our condolences to Donna Summer’s family, friend and fans!