In this Jan. 12, 1979 file photo, singer Donna
Summer poses with three awards she won at
the American Music Awards in Los Angeles,
Calif. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
Donna Summer died one year ago today at age 63 after a battle with lung cancer. In honor of the disco queen, we're putting on our dancing shoes and listening to a few of her greatest hits. Originally published May 2012.
Donna Summer, otherwise known as the Queen of Disco, was an incredibly prolific musician, with 19 albums and dozens of singles over the course of her decades-long recording career.
It's hard to pick a favorite, but we can narrow it down to her all-time top hits – the ones that hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Summer had hit after hit on the dance charts, but these select few were so great that they electrified listeners off the dance floor, too.
Donna Summer was already a disco sensation when she released "MacArthur Park" in 1978. But the song with the silly lyrics – and great dance beat – was her first to hit the Hot 100.
"MacArthur Park" was followed by three back-to-back No. 1 hits in 1979. "Hot Stuff" was the first – and it won her a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. She was both the first black artist to win in that category and the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance.
Donna Summer's record company wanted to give the song "Bad Girls" to Cher, but Summer refused. It was a great call, since "Bad Girls" topped the charts and became one of her all-time most successful singles.
For Summer's next single, she welcomed Barbra Streisand into the disco world. With their duet "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)," the two divas created a veritable feminist anthem.
Although Summer didn't have any more No. 1 hits after her duet with Streisand, she stayed on the charts for many years with songs like "On the Radio, " "She Works Hard for the Money" and "This Time I Know It’s For Real. " She stayed in our hearts, too – and that's one place she'll never leave.
Written by Linnea Crowther