Donna Summer's Disco 'Journey'

Singer-Songwriter Back in the Spotlight with New CD, Book

Donna Summer

Donna Summer in Tavis Smiley's Crenshaw District studio. Devin Robins, NPR News hide caption

itoggle caption Devin Robins, NPR News
Cover for the 'The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer'

Cover for The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer (UTV Records) hide caption

itoggle caption

She started singing gospel in a Boston church and rose to fame in the 1970s as the "Queen of Disco." In 1975, legendary singer-songwriter Donna Summer moaned her way to the top of the charts with her breakthrough hit "Love to Love You, Baby."

Summer's Best

Samples from some of Donna Summer's biggest hit songs:

Listen 'Hot Stuff'

Listen 'She Works Hard for the Money'

Listen 'Love to Love You Baby'

Her runaway success continued with 14 top-10 hits, four No. 1 singles and album sales in the tens of millions worldwide. Summer was also showered with awards — her music has earned her five Grammys and an Oscar.

Available Online

She's considered the voice that ignited the disco generation. Now, more than a quarter of a century later, she's still making music.

Her latest double-disk CD set, The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer, was just released. She's also penned a new autobiography, Ordinary Girl: The Journey.

Summer mostly stays out of the spotlight nowadays — she's married, with three daughters and two grandchildren, and likes to spend time with her family and her garden.

Her autobiography is a candid account of the pressures of being at the top of the music world. She attempted suicide at the height of her fame in 1979, turned to religion and becoming a born-again Christian.

Today she embraces the title "Queen of Disco" and says she'll keep performing her Oscar-winning song "Last Dance" until she drops — and swears she can still nail the glass-shattering high notes.

Summer has ambitions to turn her story into a Broadway musical, and would like to do another studio album.

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