Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy 59th Birthday Donna Summer

Donna Summer (born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, and artist, best known for a string of dance hits in the late 1970s that earned her the title "Queen Of Disco" and as one of the few disco-based artists to have longevity on the charts through the late 1980s.

Though she's most notable for her disco hits, Summer's repertoire has expanded to include contemporary R&B, rock, mainstream pop, and even gospel. Donna is one of the most successful female hitmakers of the 70s and 80s, and still holds the record for having three consecutive (double) albums hit #1 on the Billboard charts. She also became the first female artist to have four number-one singles in a twelve-month period.

On September 27, 2007, Donna was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 1971, Gaines released a single in Europe entitled "Sally Go 'Round The Roses", her first solo recording.

In 1972, Summer married her first husband, Helmut Sommer, and moved to Germany to play in musicals, which resulted in her learning to speak fluent German. With Sommer, she gave birth to her first child, Mimi. The couple divorced in 1976, but Donna had anglicized Sommer to Summer and begun her professional singing career in 1974 as Donna Summer. In 1978, she collaborated with the R&B Pop group the Brooklyn Dreams for the hit "Heaven Knows" (duet vocals by Joe Esposito). While at the session recording the single, she met Bruce Sudano. The duo began a romance that culminated in their July 16, 1980, marriage, and later the birth of daughters Brooklyn and Amanda. Today, Mimi and Amanda sing alongside their mother (, while Brooklyn has been seen acting in TV shows, including a recently canceled sitcom starring Damon Wayans. Summer is still married to Sudano, and she is a grandmother of three.

While singing back-up for groups such as Three Dog Night, she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. With these producers, Summer signed a contract in the Netherlands and issued her first album, Lady of the Night, which included the European hit, "The Hostage". The single made #1 in France and Belgium, and #2 in the Netherlands. Its follow-up, the title track of the album, also gained some degree of European success.

"Love To Love You Baby" was Summer's first big hit in America, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in early 1976 and becoming her first Number-One Hot Dance Club Play chart hit. Time magazine later reported that a record 22 orgasms were simulated in the making of the song.

Summer was also a guest artist on Kiss bassist Gene Simmons's 1978 eponymous solo album.

In 1979, Summer released the landmark double-album Bad Girls. Unlike other disco albums, it mixed Rock, Funk, Blues, and Soul into electronic Disco beats. It yielded three consecutive million-selling singles: the back-to-back #1 hits "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls", and the #2 hit "Dim All The Lights". Bad Girls became Summer's second #1 album and the most successful one of her entire career, selling nearly three million copies in the US and an estimated ten million worldwide.

Disagreements and fractions between Summer and Casablanca Records led to her exit from the label in 1980. Summer was given a lucrative offer by David Geffen and became the first artist to be signed to his new Geffen label in 1980. At the time, Summer's record deal was said to be one of the biggest for a female artist. She also became a born again Christian during this time and used her newfound religion as a guiding force within her life.

Summer left Geffen in 1988 to sign with Atlantic Records.

In 1998, Summer was the first artist to receive a Grammy award for Best Dance Recording for her 1992 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, "Carry On", after the song was remixed and released as a single.

On September 20, 2004, Summer was among the first artists to be inducted into the newly formed Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City. She was inducted in two categories, Artist Inductees, alongside fellow disco legends The Bee Gees and Barry White; and Record Inductees, for her classic hit "I Feel Love".

According to her official website,, Donna has new music coming out, a new website and she will be touring !!! Yeah. I saw her last summer down here in Orlando and she was SCRUMTRULESCENT.

Here's her controversial, early European hit, The Hostage

not one of her best songs, but a rare video that's kinda cute to watch
"Dinner With Gershwin"

Here's a bra-less Donna doing her amazing rendition on the Barry Manilow classic, "Could It Be Magic" (one of my absolute faves):

Donna's huge hit that she rarely performs live. "Love To Love You Baby" on the Mike Douglas show in 1976.

Another rarity is this short cameo appearance of Donna singing "Black Power" from a German TV show called 11Uhr20, in 1969!!

Not a proper video, but a photo montage over Donna's very first single (which flopped)
"Sally Go 'Round The Roses"

And to wrap this up, here a clip from one of my all-time favorite movies, Thank God It's Friday, with Donna forcing herself on the club with "Last Dance"

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