Terms like "diva" have become common currency, but if there's one artist who has earned that title, it's Donna Summer. She's won American Music Awards, Grammies and a NAACP award; had over 45 UK single chart entries; and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But everyone will always remember her for the erotic bumping and grinding - and singing of course - on such classic disco tracks as I Feel Love and Love to Love You Baby, the seventeen minute track sometimes credited with starting the worldwide disco revolution, co-written and produced by Giorgio Moroder.
The success of Love To Love You Baby triggered a series of albums that would brilliantly blend the urgency of disco and funk with symphonic strings and extraordinarily dramatic vocals. Hardcore club DJs played disco epics like Spring Affair, Try Me (I Know We Can Make It), and Could It Be Magic, while pop radio indulged in less lengthy but equally compelling songs like I Love You, MacArthur Park, and Hot Stuff.
In the 80s, she collaborated with an illustrious line-up of writers and producers including Quincy Jones, Michael Omartian, and Stock Aitken & Waterman, and had a stream of hits including State of Independence; She Works Hard For The Money; This Time I Know It's for Real; I Don't Want to Get Hurt and Dinner With Gershwin from the superb All Systems Go" album.
The extraordinary thing about Donna's music is just how many musical boundaries it seems to jump over with such ease. Country singers like Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Reba McEntire have covered her songs; pop artists like Madonna, Kylie, Whitney Houston, Robbie Williams, Britney Spears and Diana Ross have sampled Summer's material; as have electronic dance acts like Moloko; and DJs, re- mixers and producers like Stuart Price, David Guetta and Moby. Over the decades Donna has moved on from disco music, turning to soul and gospel and she continues to make new albums and tour. Although this programme will bring her story up to date, it will inevitably focus on her glory days in the 70s and 80s. Featuring interviews with some of the people who've worked with, or been influenced by Donna's music, including Pete Waterman and Moby.
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