LaDonna Adrian Gaines, better known as Donna Summer, was a singer, songwriter, pianist and actress.
Donna Summer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, December 31, 1948. She died in Naples, Florida (USA) on May 17, 2012 at 61 years old. She debuted in the acting world with 10 years when she had to replace a vocalist of his church who did not show. She went to high school Boston’s Jeremiah E. Burke, where she participated in school musicals and was very popular.
Before graduating in 1967, she moved to New York, where she was part of the rock band Crow. Although record labels recognized them as good singers, they eventually split up. However, she continued to live in New York where she auditioned for a role in the musical ‘Hair’, but got the character (Melba Moore would win). Soon after, and with the approval of her parents, she moved to Munich (Germany). There she became an attractive singer, singing several songs in German. She also participated in the musical ‘Ich bin ich, Godspell’ and ‘Showboat’. After three years in Germany, she moved to Vienna, Austria, where she joined the Vienna Volksoper. The following year she released his first single ‘Polydor’ (a German version of ‘Hair’) called ‘Aquarius’. In 1971 came her second single, “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses’, with The Jaynetts. ‘Walking Alone’, their third single, was released in 1972.
In 1974, Donna Summer was associated with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote. A demo with their work led them to an agreement with the European label Groovy Records. The label released the first album of the singer: ‘Lady of the Night’. In mid-1975, Moroder collaborated with a song she was writing for another artist in the field of nascent disco music. Summer wrote a part of the item entitled ‘Love to Love You’. In Europe several stations rejected by its eroticism. However, a copy came to America and fell into the hands of Neil Bogart, president of Casablanca Records. The manager got in touch with Moroder and Summer, announcing that it would release the song. It reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Hot in the United States, while album of the same name, sold over 1 million copies. It reached the Top 5 in the UK, despite being banned from the BBC.
In 1977 she published “I Remember Yesterday ‘, a concept album. In the so-called Golden Age of Disco ‘Donna Summer took the title of’ Queen of Clubs’ from Gloria Gaynor. That year she also released a double album inspired by Cinderella, ‘Once Upon a Time. In it combines ballads and dance rhythms with orchestral sound. In 1978 she made a rhythmic version of the ballad ‘MacArthur Park’ (released by the actor and singer Richard Harris). The song was the first No. 1 artist in the United States and was part of their first live album, ‘Live and More’, which became platinum. The following year, she had a role in the musical film “Thank God it’s Friday ‘. In addition, she played ‘Last Dance’, the main theme of the film. Donna Summer took the Oscar for Best Song and was played at the ceremony that year. In 1979 she released “Year of the Child ‘and Donna Sumer participated in the concert’ Music for UNICEF ‘with singers like Olivia Newton-John, ABBA, Rod Stewart and the Bee Gees. She also recorded duets with Barbra Streisand, ‘(No More Tears) Enough is Enough’, included in the album ‘Wet’ of it. Donna Summer beat the unusual record of eight songs in the top 5 in just under 2 years.
Thereafter, she signed a contract with Geffen Records, a new label founded by David Geffen, and released the album ‘The Wanderer’, influenced by new wave and rock in the style of Pat Benatar. The singer broke her long working relationship with Moroder, and Geffen recruited producer Quincy Jones, who achieved fame shortly after ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson.
Freed from her relationship with Casablanca Records and PolyGram she launched in 1984 ‘Cats Without Claws’, a relative failure, the first to not reach the gold record for the first time since its debut. To relaunch her career, Geffen Records called the British producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman (SAW). They had launched the careers of Kylie Minogue, Rick Astley and Samantha Fox, among others. With catchy choruses and danceable rhythms, they refloated old glories like Bananarama and Cliff Richard. Even the Italian Sabrina Salerno appealed to them to hold commercially.
In the nineties, Donna Summer released new songs like ‘Carry On’, which marked her reunion with Giorgio Moroder. In 1997, a remix of this song would give her another Grammy. In 1990 and 1993, two collections of her successes were published and, in 1991, dared to try the new jack swing sound with the album ‘Mistaken Identity’. In 1994 she approached gospel with the Christmas album ‘Christmas Spirit’ and participated in the XXXV International Song Festival of Vina del Mar.
Given the success of 1999 ‘Donna Summer – Live and More Encore’, she spoke of a more lasting comeback, with new albums. However, the following should not see the light until 2008, when the singer released ‘Crayons’, where she experimented with Latin rhythms. In 2011 she released the song ‘To Paris with Love’, which would be her last release.
- She had six brothers. Her father, Andrew Gaines, was a butcher and her mother, Mary, a schoolteacher.
- She iss the pioneer of the maxi-single vinyl format 12-inch which was released ‘Love To Love You Baby’ in the United States.
- Between 1994 and 1997 she participated in several episodes of the television series “Family Matters”, in which she played the role of Aunt Oona.
- She was married to Helmut Sommer between 1972 and 1975. They had a daughter named Mimi. Her married name translated into English and whe she got her stage name (Donna Summer).
- In 1980 she married Bruce Sudano, a member of the group Brooklyn Dreams. They were together until the death of the singer in 2012 and had two daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda
|music||Four Seasons of Love||1976|
|music||I Remember Yesterday||1977|
|music||Once Upon a Time||1977|
|music||Thank God It's Friday||1978|
|music||I'm a Rainbow||1981|
|music||She Works Hard for the Money||1983|
|music||Cats Without Claws||1984|
|music||All Systems Go||1987|
|music||Another Place and Time||1989|