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LaDonna Andrea Gaines (Summer, Donna)

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Born: 1948 AD
Currently alive, at 65 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Musicians, Singer, Songwriter

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1948 - LaDonna Andre Gaines, born on the 31st of December, and grew up in Boston's Mission Hill section. Part of a religious family, she first sang in her church's gospel choir, and as a teenager performed with a rock group called the Crow.

1971 - Her first solo recording was "Sally Go 'Round the Roses,".

1974 - When she met producers/songwriters Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte while working on a Three Dog Night record. The three teamed up for the single "The Hostage," which became a hit around Western Europe, and she released her first album, Lady of the Night, in Europe only.

1975 - The trio recorded "Love to Love You Baby," a disco-fied reimagining of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin's lush, heavy-breathing opus "Je T'aime..Moi Non Plus." Powered by her graphic moans, "Love to Love You Baby" became a massive hit in Europe, and drew the attention of Casablanca Records, which put the track out in America.

1976 - Follow-up Love Trilogy contained another side-long suite in "Try Me (I Know We Can Make It Work)," and demonstrated Moroder and Bellotte's growing sophistication as arrangers with its lush, sweeping strings.

1977 - Four Seasons of Love, released later in the year, was a concept album with one track dedicated to each season, and I Remember Yesterday featured a variety of genre exercises. Despite the album's title, it produced the most forward-looking single in Summer and Moroder's catalog, the monumental "I Feel Love."

1978 - Her acting turn in the disco-themed comedy Thank God It's Friday produced another hit in "Last Dance," which won her a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal (as well as an Oscar for songwriter Paul Jabara).

1979 - Double-LP Bad Girls featured more of her songwriting contributions than ever, and went straight to number one, as did the lusty singles "Bad Girls" and the rock-oriented "Hot Stuff," which made Summer the first female artist ever to score three number one singles in the same calendar year.

1980 - The Wanderer; the album and its title track were both hits. Not wanting to alienate her core audience, she returned to pure dance music on an attempted follow-up; however, Geffen deemed I'm a Rainbow not worthy of release.

1982 - Her "Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)" was a significant hit, but none of its follow-ups did very well.

1983 - 1989 - With producer Michael Omartian, she moved back into post-disco dance music and urban R&B with  She Works Hard for the Money; "Forgive Me," Summer's;  follow-up Cats Without Claws flopped, as did the single "This Time I Know It's for Real," from the album Another Place & Time; around the same time, she began denouncing her earlier, "sinful" disco material.

1994 - She did make some noise on the dance charts with "Melody of Love," from the excellent retrospective Endless Summer, and reunited with Moroder for the non-LP single "Carry On," which won the inaugural Grammy for Best Dance Recording.

1999 - She subsequently signed a deal with Sony, which primed her for re-establishment with the greatest-hits live album VH1 Presents: Live and More Encore!; it featured the new song "I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)," which had some success on the dance charts.

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Page last updated: 11:41am, 09th Apr '07