Donna Summer Was Far More Than Just The Queen Of Disco!
When Donna Summer passed away a few days ago, I noticed that a few of my younger friends didn’t even really bat an eye. They weren’t familiar with who she was, which is understandable, since her heyday was back in the late 70’s-early 80’s. But those of us that remember disco, and were around back then, remember how important she was.
She was awesome – and she was beautiful. And she sold 130 million albums in her career.
Her career accomplishments are numerous, and super-impressive.
The five-time Grammy winner was the first female artist to have back-to-back multiplatinum double albums and the first female artist to incorporate synthesizers as well as the first artist to create and extended play song. She was also first female to have four #1 singles in a 12 month period; 3 as a solo artist and one as a duo with Barbra Streisand.
Donna Summer was the first artist to win the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (1979, “Hot Stuff”) as well as the first-ever recipient of the Grammy for Best Dance Recording (1997, “Carry On”).
In 2004, she became one of the first inductees, as both an Artist Inductee and a Record Inductee (for 1977’s “I Feel Love”) into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City.
Donna Summer earned five Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, three consecutive #1 platinum double albums (she’s the only artist, male or female, ever to accomplish this), 11 gold albums, four #1 singles, 2 platinum singles, and 12 gold singles.
Donna was also the first female artist to have a #1 single and #1 album on the Billboard charts simultaneously (“Live & More;” “MacArthur Park” 1978) a feat she also repeated six months later (“Bad Girls” & “Hot Stuff” in 1979). She charted 22 #1 hits on the Billboard Disco/Dance charts, over a period of 25 years a milestone solidifying her as The Queen of Dance.
In addition to her recording and performing career, Summer was an accomplished visual artist whose work had been shown at exhibitions worldwide. Since 1989, she had sold over 1.2 million dollars in original art – with her highest piece going for $150,000.
She was ranked at #24 in Billboard Magazine’s 50th anniversary issue featuring Hot 100 Artists of All Time.
As I stated when Whitney Houston passed away – somewhere in Heaven, there is a choir that keeps getting better and better.