Donna Summer: A Disco Icon

By Camille Adams-Lonzer

When you think of iconic women many come to mind, but when you think of icons in disco the first person that comes to peoples minds is Donna Summer. This disco queen dominated the realm of disco as you could her voice pouring out of any club in the late 70’s. But, how did she get her start that lead her down a road of fame?

If you entered any club in the 70’s there was a good chance you would hear disco music booming from the speakers. It was in the late 1970’s when disco began to reach it’s peak where it would dominate the dance floor until around the late 90’s. Disco music really was a global phenomenon, while many white Americans and Europeans hopped on the disco train early on it was African Americans who stole the show. 

Donna Summers born LaDonna Adrian Gaines had childhood full of music. She was a songbird who sang everywhere during everything. When she was 18 she went to Munich, Germany to star in a musical and this is where her career not as an actor would take of but as a singer. In Germany she san some back up vocals, and recorded demos but most importantly she recorded her solo album “Lady of the Night.” From there her singing career began to take off. She had her first hit with “Love to love you” in 1975. Her music was full of heavy thumping beats, synthesizers and the iconic funky bass. The background music really embodied what you would be hearing at the time, but the thing that made her stand out from the crowd was her sound and lyrics. Her sound for one was smooth and angelic, when she would hit a high note it would be carried out as effortlessly as the others. Her vocal skill also showed in how she would convey different emotions in each of her songs, thus making her voice the most valuable thing in all of her music. On the other hand her music was full of everything from seductive lyrics to the sincere love ballad. This range is also what made her successful. She had a song for whatever feeling or vibe you would want which made her everyone’s go to. Unfortunately after a long battle with cancer the Queen of Disco made her transition on May 17th 2012.

 

In conclusion, Donna Summer left a mark on the world that cannot be erased. Her greatest impact can be found in the pop music of today. She also lead a new generation of women who expressed their feelings and passion through song. All while writing hits that burned up the dance floor.  

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