Goodbye to disco queen Donna Summer who died yesterday at 63 of cancer. She was one of the rare through lines in popular music of the 70s and 80s -- doesn't it seem like disco had its inordinate share of one hit wonders? But not Donna. Hit after hit and her voice defined the era: I Feel Love, Macarthur Park, Love to Love Ya Baby, No More Tears (Enough is Enough) and so on...
Donna wrote or co-wrote some of her hits but not "Last Dance", the Oscar-winning one. Still, you can bet her indelible vocals helped win songwriter Paul Jabara that naked gold man. As you can see in the image up top Donna became the film's most important selling point retroactively on DVD but in the original poster, she only has a small frame to the bottom left of the poster (also excerpted above). She played a disco diva naturally. It was her first and last appearance in a motion picture.
Here's Donna Summer performing "Last Dance", the Oscar winning song from Thank God It's Friday (1978). I love that opening speech for its sheer retro wtfness... $12 a ticket, Donna? Different era! But if tickets were really only $12 she was working hard for the money. So hard for you honey.
Which song have you been playing in her honor since you heard the sad news?
Related: Barbra Streisand reacts to the news and here's a fine Advocate piece on Donna Summer's complex relationship with the gay community who were the first to embrace her sound.
P.S. Speaking of the gay community. "I Feel Love" with two gay trailblazers after the jump.