Donna Summer-The Queen of Disco

LaDonna Adrian Gaines was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 31, 1948. Donna came from a large musical family (being the 3rd child out of seven) in Mission Hill, a neighborhood in Boston. Her mother, Mary Gaines worked as a school teacher. Her father, Andrew Gaines worked as a butcher. Donna grew up in church, and there she had her debut performance at the age of ten years old. She went to Jeremiah E. Burke High School, and weeks before she was supposed to graduate, Donna left for New York City where she joined a band called Crow. After “Crow” disbanded, Donna took her talents to Broadway. Donna auditioned and got the part of Sheila in the musical Hair. After a successful run in New York, Donna agreed to play the role in the German version of the show in Munich, Germany. Donna eventually began to speak German fluently. In 1968, Summer released her first single, a German version of “Aquarius” off the record label Polydor under the artist name Donna Gaines. 
Donna moved to Vienna, Austria and there she met her husband Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973. In the same year, Donna gave birth to her first child Natalia “Mimi” Sommer. Helmuth and Donna divorced in 1976, and in 1980 she married guitarist Bruce Sudano. 
Donna met producer Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote while singing back-up for the band Three Dog Night. The duo produced her debut album Lady of the Night, that included “The Hostage” which was a big hit in Europe. In 1975, Donna came to Moroder with a record that would become legendary, the song was called ” Love To Love You Baby”. Once that track was released it gained the attention of Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart. He signed Summer later that year in November, and by spring of 1976 “Love To Love You Baby” had reached No.2 of the Hot 100 and gone gold. Casablanca wanting to capitalize off of all the attention she was getting, Donna released her sophomore album A Love Trilogy. In 1978, Donna made her film debut in Thank God It’s Friday, and even though the film was not a box office hit, the song “Last Dance” was.  The writer of “Last Dance” Paul Jabara won both a Golden Globe and Academy Award for the composition. 
Later on in the 80’s Donna gave birth to two more daughters Brooklyn and Amanda. Disco was no longer a genre that people were longing to listen to. So in order to keep the industry on its toes Donna released “She Works Hard for the Money” in 1983. The hit-making trio including Donna, Moroder, and Bellote got stronger over the years as they continued to release great music. As the industry changed over the decades, Donna always managed to stay ahead of the current sound and stay relevant.  
The Sudano Family
In 2003, Donna released her autobiography, Ordinary Girl: The Journey. The following year Summer was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, her iconic song “I Feel Love” was inducted that same night. On May 17, 2012, Donna Summer passed away from lung cancer in Naples, Florida. After several nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she was posthumously inducted on April 18, 2013 in Los Angeles. 
Donna Summer's Autobiography

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.