This is Biography Donna Summer was born on 31 December 1948 but is universally known as Donna Summer. Thanks to her gigantic musical successes of the 1970s, she has long been considered the queen of disco.
Her career as a musical artist began before the advent of the disco genre for which she is famous and continued afterwards. Donna Summer’s artistic longevity has been possible thanks to the variety of her repertoire, which includes, in addition to disco music, R&B, gospel and rock: during her career she has received numerous awards, including at least one Grammy award in each of the aforementioned musical categories.
In 1968, she left the United States and moved to Germany, where she was cast in the German version of the famous musical ‘Hair’. Here she married Helmut Sommer, whom she met in Munich and with whom she also had a daughter, Mimi Sommer. Her stage name derives from her first husband’s surname.
In 1974, with the collaboration of Giorgio Moroder, she recorded her first European hit, “The Hostage”, included in the album “Lady of the Night”. A year later, she released the album that made her known to the American market thanks to the distribution of Casablanca Records, “Love to Love You Baby”.
After “A Love Trilogy” and after the concept album “Four Seasons of Love”, both of 1976, of moderate success in the USA, but of great success in continental Europe, especially in Germany and Italy, she records “I Remember Yesterday” (1977), an album in which there is “I Feel Love”, a song that will bring enormous influences within different musical genres, among which electronic music and techno.
Another concept album is Once Upon a Time, based on Cinderella. Her greatest success is perhaps “Bad Girls” (1979), an album in which the infamous single “Hot Stuff” stands out, which won her the Grammy for Best Female Rock Singer. Donna Summer became the first artist to score three consecutive number one double albums when she released “On the Radio”.
In 1980 she moved to Geffen Records, leaving Casablanca Records. In agreement with the label, she left her long-time songwriters Giorgio Moroder and Bellotte, and began collaborating with the successful Quincy Jones. Together with him she released the album “Donna Summer”, which contained the famous songs “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)”, “The Woman in Me” and “State of Independence”, whose new age imprint broke through, at least in Europe.
The early eighties saw a slowdown in the singer’s career, due to the birth of her two daughters, but also to the controversy that saw her involved in a journalistic scandal: according to a statement attributed to her, Donna Summer had made statements in which she expressed contempt for the gay community, thus becoming the object of strong accusations. The singer would later deny this position by supporting Carnegie’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis in later years.
She returned to the charts in the following years with the album “She Works Hard For The Money” and the 1989 single “This Time I Know It’s for Real”. In the ’90s Donna Summer performed several duets and covers, including a duet with Liza Minnelli and a cover of Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te partirò”.
Famous artists who have taken up her hits since the 2000s include Beyoncè, with “Naughty Girl”, Madonna with “I Feel Love” (in the song “Future Lovers”).
During her extraordinary career she has sold over one hundred million copies worldwide and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994; her latest album was released in May 2008, after 17 years of absence, and is entitled “Crayons”.
Longtime cancer patient Donna Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her beach house near Venice, Florida, at the age of 63.
1974 – Lady of the Night
1975 – Love to Love You Baby
1976 – A Love Trilogy
1976 – Four Seasons of Love
1977 – I Remember Yesterday
1977 – Once Upon a Time
1979 – Bad Girls
1980 – The Wanderer
1981-1996 – I’m a Rainbow
1982 – Donna Summer
1983 – She Works Hard for the Money
1984 – Cats Without Claws
1987 – All Systems Go
1989 – Another Place and Time
1991 – Mistaken Identity
1994 – Christmas Spirit
2008 – Crayons