Donna Summer

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About Donna Summer

Widely hailed as the “Queen of Disco,” Donna Summer reshaped pop and dance music’s possibilities throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Born in 1948 in Boston into a religious family, she sharpened her soaring, rangy voice in the church choir and later fronted a rock band called The Crow. Early stints as a stage performer and session vocalist led her to the production team of Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, who broke her into the burgeoning disco scene with 1975’s 16-minute sensual come-on, “Love To Love You Baby.” The team’s distinct marriage of European pop styles and Black dance grooves set Summer’s 1975-1979 peak into motion, with a run of seminal anthems and innovative concept albums that embodied disco’s hedonism and musical abandon. As tastes in dance music evolved at the dawn of the ’80s, so did Summer’s versatile sound, branching into R&B, rock, new wave, and electro-pop styles of the day. Since her death in 2012, the singularity of her musical impact can be traced everywhere—from EDM to Beyoncé.

Boston, MA, United States
December 31, 1948
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