Donna Summer

23 May
May 23, 2012

I know this post is really late in the day but time management has been whacked out around here lately and I  haven’t had the time to sit down, let alone get on the computer.  But it’s Tuesday Tunes-day and I’m staying on schedule.  I feel like I really should too because I want to honor Mrs. Donna Summer.  Cancer has taken yet another beloved musical artist since two weeks ago when we were dealing with the loss of MCA from the Beastie Boys.

donna summerI grew up on Donna Summer’s music.  My dad is a huge fan and he liked to listen to his music LOUD back in the day.  Weekends were for working around the house, drinking beers and blasting music from his awesome stereo that consisted of two big speakers in the dining room and two big speakers in the living room.  He had to be able to hear the music outside, so when going inside to use the bathroom, you had to cover your ears with your hands because it hurt otherwise.  It was really loud.  He had several favorite artists and she was one of them.  He always said her name with a smile and would reminisce about seeing her perform in his younger years.

donna summerBefore having the twins, my pop and I had a tradition of going to concerts to see live bands whenever we could.  We even made it to a Donna Summer show on July 16, 2008.  It was at Pier 6 in Baltimore, Maryland which is an awesome venue to see shows.  It has an outside pavilion and lawn seating as well.  We had pavilion seats for this show and it was amazing.  She did had several outfit changes (like the old schoolers do) and there was a meet and greet afterwards.  The rules were that you take the picture with her, no talking or anything else.  She was tired from the show and they were trying to accommodate as many fans as they could quickly.  Of course, it’s our turn and what does my dad do?  He gives a huge grin and tells her that he saw her back in the 1970′s (like where and everything).  She smiled and we took the picture.  It was a really special moment for both of us, and I know for him especially.  I really love when artists do meet and greets because it means so much to the fans.  It’s a real stand up thing to do in my opinion.

donna summer meet and greet

Born on December 31, 1948, LaDonna Adrian Gaines entered the world in Boston, Massachusetts.  She grew up in a religious family and started singing in the church choir.  She continued to sing all throughout her childhood years and joined a band in her teen years called Crow.  She moved to New York City after high school and then later moved to Germany where she met her husband Helmut Sommer.  They divorced in 1974 and she remarried in 1980 to Bruce Sudano.  She has three daughters, one from her first marriage and two with Sudano.

Summer is known as the ‘Queen of Disco’ and has quite the list of accomplishments.  She is a five time grammy winner,  eleven of her albums went gold in the U.S., twelve gold singles, she was the first artist to have three consecutive #1 double platinum albums, six American Music Awards, I mean the list is forever long.  She is also an accomplished painter and has sold over 1.2 million dollars in original art since 1989 with her highest piece going for $150,000.  She has an autobiography that she co-authored with Marc Eliot called Ordinary Girl.

Donna Summer was a Christian and had a strong faith.  There is a message from the Sudano family on her website stating, “Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith.  While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.  Words truly can’t express how much we appreciate  your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time.” May 17, 2012

Donna Summer was 63 years old and died from lung cancer.  Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in the U.S.  If you would like to help by donating, I just wrote about the PJ Aldridge Foundation and they are constantly trying to raise money for research for lung cancer.

Here’s the song that I hated growing up.  “Last Dance”

And then the song that I remember so well.  “She Works Hard For The Money”

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2 replies
  1. Natalia says:

    Would have posted my comments here but couldn’t get the HTML to work for the video links. Ah, the 80s–might spend the rest of this insomnia watching Diana Ross and Julio Iglesias videos. ;) Great blog post, Marisa.


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