For the past few years I’ve gotten news of celebrity passings from social media like Twitter and Instagram. Today was different. I received a text from my mom asking if I had heard about Donna Summer passing away at 63 from cancer. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to hear it any other way. As a child of 70s my fondest memories of Donna Summer are listening to her over the airwaves of the car radio sitting in the back seat as my mom drove. I remember that whenever I wanted to ask my mom to turn on the radio, instead of just asking her like a normal person, I would belt out Donna Summer’s “On the Radio” and I would sing “Turn on the radio, woahooooo” – loudly. Just the thought of it still makes me smile.
She had so many other great songs. The O.G. “Bad Girl” long before Rihanna and M.I.A., the “toot toot, yeah, beep beep” and infectious whistle of “Bad Girls”, before Beyonce covered her “Love to Love You” and the hypnotic intros of “I Feel Love” and “Hot Stuff” Donna Summer was the undisputed Queen of Disco.
When I was a little older and she transitioned from disco to pop, “She Works Hard Her Money” was so inspiring. I loved seeing all of these working women coming out into the streets and dance – about demanding respect and being independent. She had so many other great songs that I love and I can never manage to sit still through them. In my eyes, Donna Summer will forever be the Queen of Disco and will always sing the last song I want to hear at a dance party.
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