Artist Countdown: Donna Summer Top 45 6p ET @RadioMax

donna-summer-03LaDonna Adrian Gaines (December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012), known by her stage name, Donna Summer, was an American singer and songwriter who gained prominence during the disco era of the late 1970s. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the United States Billboard album chart and charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Summer has sold over 150 million records worldwide.

Born into a devoutly Christian middle class, African American family in Boston, Massachusetts, Summer first became involved with singing through church choir groups before joining a number of bands influenced by the Motown Sound. Also influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, she became the front singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. Joining a touring version of the musical Hair, she spent several years living, acting, and singing in West Germany, where she met music producer Giorgio Moroder. Also while in Europe, she married Helmut Sommer, an anglicized version of whose surname she adopted as her stage name.

donna_summer_hi-resAfter returning to the United States, Summer co-wrote the song “Love to Love You Baby” with Pete Bellotte. Moroder convinced her to sing it herself, and it was released in 1975 to mass commercial success, particularly on the disco scene. Over the following years Summer followed this success with a string of other hits, such as “I Feel Love”, “Last Dance”, “MacArthur Park“, “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls”, “Dim All the Lights”, “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)“, and “On the Radio”. She became known as the “Queen of Disco” and regularly appeared at the Studio 54 nightclub in New York City, while her music gained a global following within the gay and non-gay communities. She struggled with depression, and subsequently she became a born-again Christian in 1980.

Diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida. She was posthumously described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.” Moroder described Summer’s work with him on the song “I Feel Love” as “really the start of electronic dance” music. In 2013, Summer was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

1 No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (with Barbra Streisand)
2 Hot Stuff
3 I Feel Love
4 Bad Girls
5 Love to Love You Baby
6 She Works Hard for the Money
7 MacArthur Park
8 On the Radio
9 This Time I Know It’s for Real
10 Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)
11 The Wanderer
12 Last Dance
13 Dim All the Lights
14 I Love You
15 Heaven Knows (with Brooklyn Dreams)
16 Could It Be Magic
17 Dinner with Gershwin
18 Winter Melody
19 Rumour Has It
20 State of Independence
21 There Goes My Baby
22 Unconditional Love (featuring Musical Youth)
23 Stamp Your Feet
24 I’m a Fire
25 Theme from The Deep (Down, Deep Inside)
26 Fame (The Game)
27 Love’s Unkind
28 The Woman in Me
29 I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt
30 Love’s About to Change My Heart
31 Spring Affair
32 Cold Love
33 Try Me, I Know We Can Make It
34 Love Is the Healer
35 I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)
36 Breakaway
37 The Power of One
38 It’s Only Love
39 Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)
40 Love Has a Mind of Its Own (with Matthew Ward)
41 Lady of the Night
42 Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’
43 Supernatural Love
44 Walk Away
45 When Love Cries

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