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Remembering the 'Bad Girl': Donna Summer (1948 - 2012)

Donna Summer (1948 - 2012)


I know I'm terribly late with this obituary, but I would be remiss if I didn't pay tribute to the "Bad Girl" Donna Summer.

Now I'm talking about "bad" as in good. And in the case of Donna Summer, she was absolutely dynamite. As far as I'm concerned, she was the true sex symbol of the disco era. Next to Blaxiplotiation queen Pam Grier, Donna Summer was my chocolate fantasy. Sadly, this truly gifted artist is no longer here with us.

Can we please have a moment of silence for...

LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer, who passed away on May 17 at the age of 63 after a long battle with lung cancer. The veteran songbird died her home on Manasota Key in Englewood, Fla., after a battle with the disease. Summer was laid to rest on May 23 in Nashville. Among the A-list mourners in attendance included Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie.

"Donna was a wonderful woman, who was a force to be reckoned with," said Summer's biographer Mark Eliot. "She changed music and was a good family woman and good Christian. She will be missed."

Born and raised in a religious Boston family, Summer became the Queen of Disco at the age of 27 with the 1975 song "Love to Love You Baby," which was produced by the Italian disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder. The song became a global sensation -- 17 minutes of a woman moaning in a state of ecstasy -- and for awhile, was banned on radio. Summer also made waves in the disco era with her chart-topping dance anthems "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff," "Bad Girls," "On the Radio" and "No More Tears (Enough is Enough)."

By 1983, she'd moved past the disco sound and into R&B/pop sound with the girl-power anthem "She Works Hard For the Money."

Summer is a five-time Grammy Award winner and was the first female artist to have three consecutive double albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She also received two Golden Globes, six American Music Awards, one NAACP Image Award and was the first black female to receive an MTV Video Music Awards nomination. Sadly, although she has been nominated for induction into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she hasn't been selected.

Donna Summer -- "On the Radio"

Donna Summer -- "Last Dance"

Donna Summer -- "Spring Affair"

Donna Summer -- "She Works Hard For the Money"


Rest in Peace, Donna Summer