Donna Summer


Donna Summer (born LaDonna Adrian Gaines 31.12.1948 - 17.05.2012)

Donna Summer was an American singer most famous during the seventies disco era.

Donna Summer: Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, at the time of her death in 2012, Donna Summer had a net worth of 75 million USD.

Donna Summer: Childhood

Donna Summer was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her parents were Andrew, a butcher, and Mary Gaines, a schoolteacher. Her first performance was at church aged 10 and she has said that from then on she knew she would be famous. She attended Boston's Jeremiah E. Burke High School and became quite popular and a bit of a troublemaker. Just before her graduation, she left to go to New York where she joined blues band Crow; they soon broke up.

Donna Summer: Musical career

Donna Summer auditioned for a role in the musical 'Hair' and was sent to perform in Munich where she became fluent in German. After three years, she moved to Vienna in Austria, briefly touring with a band called FamilyTree. In 1968, Summer released her first single in German, 'Aquarius' from 'Hair', on Polydor records. In 1971, she released a cover of The Jaynetts' 'Sally Go 'Round the Roses' on Decca Records. In 1974, she signed with the European Groovy Records after they heard a demo of her work with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. They released her debut album 'Lady of the Night' which was a hit in many countries.

In 1975, she and Moroder released another song called 'Love To Love You Baby' through Casablanca Records. The song got a lot of airplay and a 17-minute version was also released to be played in discotheques. In 1976, it reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart but was surrounded by some controversy due to the fact that Donna made erotic moaning noises throughout the track.

In 1977, she released album 'I Remember Yesterday' which included her UK number one single 'I Feel Love'. Her first US number one came with Jimmy Webb cover 'MacArthur Park'. It featured on her first live album 'Live and More' which reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and sold over a million copies.

In 1979, she performed at the televised Music for UNICEF Concert alongside the likes of ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees, Rod Stewart, John Denver and Kris Kristofferson.

Her next album 'Bad Girls' became her biggest success reaching number one in the US and Canada. Its title track and single 'Hot Stuff' were also number one successes, with the latter winning her a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. Summer's first compilation album 'On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II' was released in 1979 and also reached number one.

In 1980, she signed with Geffen Records after deciding to move on from disco to a more rock sound. Her first album on the label 'The Wanderer' peaked at number 3 in the US. However, she was soon informed that she had to fulfil her contract and release another album with Polygram which she did in 1983 with 'She Works Hard for the Money' for which she was nominated for another Grammy. In 1985, she sang at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala for Ronald Reagan. Her next two albums, 'Cats Without Claws' and 'All Systems Go', and the later R&B album 'Mistaken Identity' failed to garner much success.

In 1992, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also in that year she won the first ever Grammy in the dance category for her song 'Carry On'. In 1993, she signed with Mercury/Polygram and released festive album 'Christmas Spirit' in 1994. Ten years later she released her autobiography 'Ordinary Girl: The Journey' as well as another greatest hits album called 'The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer'. In 2004, she and her song 'I Feel Love' were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. In 2008, she released her album 'Crayons'. A year later she played at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in honour of Barack Obama.

In 2010, she released single 'To Paris With Love' which reached number one on the US Billboard Dance Chart and became her last charting single. Later that year she appeared alongside Prince Poppycock on 'America's Got Talent'. In 2011, she recorded a song called 'Angel' with her rapper nephew O'Mega Red. In 2012, she was announced to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after her death.

Donna Summer: Personal Life

Donna Summer has previously dated Howard Hewett and Francesco Scavullo. She was married to actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 with whom she had a daughter called Mimi. They divorced after she admitted to an affair with German artist Peter Mühldorfer but she kept his last name. She met her second husband Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano when she recorded her first live album and they married in 1980. She has two other daughters called Brooklyn and Amanda. In 1995, she moved from California to Nashville and re-took up her old hobby of painting. Her mother died in the same year and her father passed away in 2004.

Summer was living in Manhattan at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 and she has claimed that she had had a premonition before the tragedy took place. In the 1980s, she was accused of making homophobic comments about the AIDS virus claiming that it was immoral in the face of God. She later apologised and claimed it was a misunderstanding.

Donna Summer: Death

Donna Summer died in 2012 in Florida aged 63 having been diagnosed with lung cancer which she claimed was caused by the toxic chemicals in the air after 9/11. Her funeral took place in Nashville on May 23rd and she was buried in Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Cemetery. It was a private ceremony for close family and friends only.

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