Disco is by far one of the most influential genres that produced historic cultural moments and shaped American pop culture in general.
Disco was inspired by genres such as funk, soul, salsa, and pop. Disco is a genre of music commonly listened to when people want to dance. The term “disco” stems from the French word “discotheque,” which means a nightclub. It’s only fitting that disco was commonly played in clubs. In the search to find an outlet of expression, Black American D.J.s birthed disco music in the 1970s.
Disco was most popular amongst oppressed peoples in the U.S., such as Black and/or LGBTQ+ people. More specifically, in Harlem, disco could be heard in the underground LGBTQ+ ballrooms or the vogue scene. These ballrooms were a safe space for queer people, and disco was part of many cultural moments.
Disco was also very popular because it went beyond dance music. Disco was expressed through beauty and fashion. Black Americans sported sparkly, flamboyant, and flattering clothing while rocking glamorous makeup and big hair. Disco even influenced dance moves through the creation of the Y.M.C.A. and the Funky Chicken Dance.
Donna Summer had her big break when she hopped on the disco scene. The Boston born disco singer gained notoriety in the 1970s. Her most popular songs included “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff,” and “Last Dance.”
Disco a genre that anyone could make anyone feel liberated and free. Disco is so iconic because people were not afraid to be themselves when a disco song came on.
DISCO MUSIC, www.shsu.edu/~lis_fwh/book/hybrid_children_of_rock/Disco2.htm.
“History of Disco.” Mental Itch, mentalitch.com/history-of-disco/.
Pareles, Jon. “Donna Summer, Queen of Disco Who Transcended the Era, Dies at 63.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 17 May 2012, www.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/arts/music/donna-summer-queen-of-disco-dies-at-63.html.
Stokes, Paul. “6 Ways Disco Changed the World.” BBC, BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/23hgH64c0cvLlwYjfmzcztJ/6-ways-disco-changed-the-world.
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