• First female to score three number one singles in the same calendar year - "Hot Stuff", "Bad Girls", and "No More Tears" ("Dim All the Lights" peaked at #2 on the pop charts and would have given her four consecutive #1s)
• First artist to score three number one consecutive and platinum-selling double LPs (Live and More, Bad Girls, On the Radio)
• In two instances, Donna Summer had two of her singles occupy the Top 3 spots of the pop charts, all in the expanse of one year ("Bad Girls" vs "Hot Stuff" and "No More Tears" vs "Dim All the Lights"). In one week, "Bad Girls" occupied the #2 spot while "Hot Stuff" landed at #3; the next week, the positions were in reverse order. The same happened with "Dim All the Lights" and "No More Tears". At one week, "Dim All the Lights" was at #2 and "No More Tears" at #3 and the other week the positions were switched.
• Throughout the disco era of 1976-1979, Donna Summer was the #1 disco artist with "Last Dance" (1978) and "Hot Stuff" (1979) being the reigning disco singles of their respective years. In 1979, Summer was the most successful singles lady artist, with "Bad Girls" as the #2 single of the year, followed by "Hot Stuff" at #7 and "MacArthur Park" at #12. That same year, her Live and More and Bad Girls LP finished in the Pop Album Top 10 of the year.
• Cashbox magazine in 1979 voted Donna Summer as Number One in the following categories: Top Female Vocalist/Pop Album, Top Female Vocalist/Pop Single, Top Black Contemporary Female Crossover/Pop Album, Top Black Contemporary Female Crossover/Pop Single, Top Female Vocalist/Black Contemporary Album, Top Female Disco Crossover/Pop Album, and Top Female Disco/Crossover Pop Single. Also that year, Blues and Soul magazine gave her the title as Best Female Singer.
• 5 Grammys
"Last Dance" - Best Female R&B Vocal Performance
"Hot Stuff" - Best Female Rock Vocal Performance (first black artist in history to do so)
"He's a Rebel" - Best Gospel Other: Incl. Sacred, Religious, or Inspirational Recording, Musical or Non-Musical
"Forgive Me" - Best Gospel Other: Incl. Sacred, Religious, or Inspirational Recording, Musical or Non-Musical
"Carry On" - Best Dance Recording
* "Bad Girls" earned five Grammy Award nominations including album of the year.
* "Last Dance" won an Academy Award for Best Song From a Motion Picture in 1978 and also earned a Golden Globe Award.
• 6 American Music Awards
• Dance Music Hall of Fame 2004
• Hollywood Walk of Fame 1992
• NAACP Image Award 1980
• Currently eligible for Rock N Roll Hall of Fame induction
• Summer's "Melody of Love" became Billboard's Number One dance record for 1994. Summer also had a critically acclaimed Christmas album "Christmas Spirit" which featured the Nashville Symphony Orchestra that year.
• Donna Summer is also an accomplished artist whose work has been showcased all around the country. Her work was even shown in Japan in a special exhibition sponsored by Steven Spielberg. It is reported that she sells tens of thousands of her work.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, BARBRA STREISAND, MADONNA...
• Bruce Springsteen respected Donna Summer and even penned two songs for her, including "Cover Me" (which he decided to record himself which has since then become a classic). The other song, "Protection", was given to Donna to sing while he played guitar. The two had even recorded the song as a duet but the song remains unreleased.
• After the glorious classic of "No More Tears", Barbra Streisand invited Donna to sing the theme song "Papa Can You Hear Me?" for her film Yentl at the Oscar Award ceremony.
• Madonna continues to use Donna Summer-like references in her works, most recently in her great achievement Confessions On a Dancefloor. When promoting the album in interviews, Madonna has displayed her deep love of the Bee Gees, ABBA, and Donna Summer.
• Donna Summer wrote and co-wrote most of her songs much like Michael Jackson and Madonna. She covered many genres as well, including contemporary R&B, rock and roll, and gospel music to name a few. She is also known for her 'underground' classics such as "Cold Love", "Protection", and the Caribbean-influenced "Unconditional Love" with Musical Youth.
• She wrote Dolly Parton's #1 country single "Starting Over".
• Her classic "State of Independence" single (#41 pop, Top 40 R&B) was one of the major inspirations for Quincy Jones' 1985 classic "We Are the World". The single featured artists that respected Summer such as Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Kenny Loggins, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder (legendary guitarist Eric Clapton played guitar).
• Donna Summer is a noted great performer. A TV special on ABC showcasing the Queen of Disco in 1980 had high ratings. Even in present times, VH1 had one of its highest, if not the highest, rated concert special through Donna Summer's "Live and More" Encore.
• Donna Summer's "Dim All the Lights" contains the longest-held note by any female vocalist to make the Top 40 (16 seconds) in the UK charts, evidence of a true singer.
• Summer is also well known for her charitable personality.
• Donna Summer redefined the modern diva; she is THE first Synth Queen, the first Queen of Dance. Her powerful gospel belting and her sultry, sexy crooning (along with her pop domination) would help shape and open doors for much of 80s women music and is credited as playing a significant role that led to the '80s sexual explosion. The "Sex Goddess" also exemplified the blend of Euro-disco (more orchestral-based) and R&B-disco (street or soulful disco). Overall, Donna Summer exuded and epitomized female sexuality in disco's heyday, breaking it to the worldwide masses Millie Jackson and Bette Davis could have only dreamt about.
• "I Feel Love" is a seminal electronic recording which has influenced entire genres such as New Wave/synth pop and even individual legends such as Brian Eno, Blondie (who covered the song and later worked with Giorgio Moroder for "Call Me" as a result), New Order, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and Kraftwerk. Red Hot Chili Pepper guitarist John Frusciante has utilized the song at the band's live shows, and the song was covered by the band itself.
• Along with the Bee Gees, Summer helped make disco music part of the American songbook and also made dance music in general a legitimate and viable market in both the U.S. and abroad.
• She remains one of the few disco/dance artists accepted by modern rock critics. She was the first Dance and Gay icon before Madonna snatched up that title. Her worldwide fan base is large with dedicated followings from France all the way to Brazil.
• Working with Donna Summer has kick started legend Giorgio Moroder's highly influential and successful career. His soundtracks for movies such as American Gigolo and Flashdance have won him many awards (including an Oscar for Midnight Express).
• "Love to Love You Baby" is the mother of all maxi-singles. Donna's concept albums also helped establish the importance of dance albums in the electronic community and for women in the dance-pop world in particular (including Madonna). Bad Girls is a triumphant landmark that showcased Donna at her most soulful, at her rockiest, all mixed with the use of predominately live instruments.
• Her work is still being sampled and covered. Everyone from Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles, Aaliyah, TLC, and The Pussycat Dolls have utilized her music. Heart, Dusty Springfield, Laura Branigan, kd Lang, No Doubt, Samantha Fox, and Sheena Easton, to name a few, have covered her songs.
• Donna Summer (First Lady of Lust, Disco's Aphrodite) is a legend in her own right. Countless dance/pop divas have labeled her as an influence in their careers such as Madonna (who has always shown her debt to Donna), Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Whitney Houston, Gloria Estefan and teen sensations such as Brandy, Irene Cara, Sheena Easton, Taylor Dayne, Jody Watley, Alison Moyet, Christina Aguilera (who grew up listening to her), Kylie Minogue (international pop legend who also grew up listening to her), and even some interesting selections such as Queen Latifah, Grace Jones, and even Joss Stone. She has received much critical acclaim from sources such as Rolling Stone and critics such as Robert Christgau and Dave Marsh and has persevered as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. With over 100 million albums sold worldwide, Donna Summer has surely aged well with time.