I am tipping my sad disco ball in Donna Summer‘s direction this morning. The Queen of Disco is dead. Summers died in Florida from lung cancer at the age of 63.
When you grow up with an artist like Donna Summer news of her death is like the death of a good friend. Being a DJ for 12 years – Donna’s always been a mainstay in my record collection. Her fashion has also inspired me as she really did have the best hair in the land back in those days:
Donna’s vocal range saved her from the-wanna-be-one-hit-wonder-label assigned to many artists of that era. Disco was overdone to the point where people turned their backs and hustled away. However, Donna was able to recreate herself and remain making hits well into the 80’s. Under her record label, Casablanca, Donna teamed up with a variety of musical innovators such as Kraftwerk to create super jams like this:
The singer battled depression, and took up painting as a release. Donna once told the Chicago Tribune: “Performing is what I do for other people….Painting is what I do for me. Being on stage is a lot of stress. You have to be perfect. Look perfect, your weight has to be perfect. Painting is a lot easier. I don’t have to be beautiful or skinny.”
An inspiration to many young vocalists and ladies of fashion was working on an album up until her death. This goes to show that disco in all its forms is not a passing age – the passing of the age’s biggest star however, well, that’s a different ball of disco wax.