donna summer
Wikicommons / Public Domain
  • Faith: Christian
  • Career: Musician
  • Birthday:  December 31, 1948

Donna Gaines, known professionally as Donna Summer, was a singer and songwriter. She rose to prominence during the disco era of the 1970s and became known as the "Queen of Disco," while her music gained a global following. Influenced by the counterculture of the 1960s, Summer became the lead singer of a psychedelic rock band named Crow and moved to New York City. In 1968, she joined a German adaptation of the musical "Hair" in Munich, where she spent several years living, singing, and acting.

There, she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote and they went on to record influential disco hits together like "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love," marking Summer's breakthrough into international music markets. She returned to the United States in 1976 and more such hits like "Last Dance," her version of "MacArthur Park,” "Heaven Knows,” "Hot Stuff,” "Bad Girls,” "Dim All the Lights,” "No More Tears (Enough is Enough) with Barbara Streisand, and "On the Radio" followed. Summer amassed a total of 32 chart singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 in her lifetime, including 14 top-10 singles and four number one singles. She claimed a top-40 hit every year between 1976 and 1984, and from her first top-10 hit in 1976 to the end of 1982, she had 12 top-10 hits, more than any other act during that period.

Summer returned to the Hot 100's top five in 1983 and claimed her final top-10 hit in 1989 with "This Time I Know It's for Real." She was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach the top of the US Billboard 200 chart and charted four number-one singles in the US within 12 months. She also charted two number-one singles on the R&B Singles chart in the US and a number-one single in the UK. Her last Hot 100 hit came in 1999 with "I Will Go with You." While her fortunes on the Hot 100 waned in subsequent decades, she remained a force on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart throughout her entire career.

In 2012, Summer died from lung cancer at her home in Naples, Florida. She sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She won five Grammy Awards. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the "undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom" who reached the status of "one of the world's leading female singers." Moroder described her work on "I Feel Love" as "really the start of electronic dance music." Summer was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, and in 2016, Billboard ranked her sixth on its list of the "Greatest of All Time Top Dance Club Artists."

What religion was Donna Summers?

Donna Summers was a Christian. Her father was a pastor, and the singer said she first heard God's voice when she was only 10 years old. She had just finished singing a solo in her church choir when she heard an "inner voice." She said, "It sort of knocked everybody out of the pews. When I looked up through my tears, everyone in the whole church's eyes were downcast, and they were crying and I thought, 'Oh my God.' I looked at my dad, and he was crying."

Back to the Celebrity Faith Database

The Celeb-O-Matic knows! Find out which celebrity your beliefs match up to.

take the quiz now ›
Close Ad