This won't be our 'Last Dance' to Donna Summer: A playlist
May 17th, 2012
01:25 PM ET

This won't be our 'Last Dance' to Donna Summer: A playlist

Five-time Grammy Award winner Donna Summer, who first hustled into our hearts in the 1970s, died Thursday morning. She was 63.

Having released 17 studio albums between 1974 and 2008, it seems fitting that we honor the Queen of Disco’s legacy by lacing up our dancing shoes. Starting at the beginning…

Remembering the 'Queen of Disco'

Photos: Disco legend Donna Summer

“Love to Love You,” originally released in 1975, is the provocative tune that first put Summer on the map. Her moaning and groaning throughout the track prompted Time magazine to tally up the number of orgasms that were simulated during the making of the song. (There are 22, for the record.)


Summer’s cover of “MacArthur Park” peaked at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, as did her hit single “Hot Stuff,” which earned her a Grammy Award for best rock vocal performance by a female in 1979.

Share your photos, memories of Donna Summer

“Bad Girls” spent 20 weeks on Billboard’s Hot 100, also peaking at No. 1:


Summer married Bruce Sudano of Brooklyn Dreams after releasing “Heaven Knows,” her collaboration with the group, in 1978:


And quite possibly the best song to play at the end of a wedding - or any event, for that matter - “Last Dance” earned Summer a Grammy for best R&B vocal performance by a female in 1978:


With 1979’s “On the Radio,” Summers proved you can, in fact, find love on FM.

Later, the title track on her 11th studio album, “She Works Hard for the Money,” carried Summer seamlessly into the ‘80s:


What’s your favorite tune by the Queen of Disco?

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  1. PartyRadio

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    February 3, 2013 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
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    Very interesting phrase

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    September 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. saleemah bertrand

    i miss you , now its a confirmed fact you were truly and angel , your only gone in flesh ,but not in mind body and soul.

    June 30, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Solo

    Donna Summer is so much more than the "Disco Queen" she is often called. Her voice had a command and resonance like no other. Her range and ability to hold strong powerful notes puts her in a class of vocalist most cannot boast. Her passing was sad and she will be missed. Her music is fun, inspirational and memorable. Just like her.

    May 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. javier marulanda

    my favorite songs:
    McArthur Park
    Could It Be Magic
    Our Love
    Autumn Changes
    Sunset People
    Love To Love You
    I feel Love (the song that was played by many artist. It was the song with more versions and remixes I ever heard)
    Hot Stuff
    Dim all the Lights
    Love will always find you
    The way we were
    Rumor has it

    May 19, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. javier marulanda

    Donna is my favorite singer. She is my idol. She had the best voice I ever heard. I have all her music more than 100 songs. very big loss She was the one and only Queen of disco. we will never forget her and her legacy will be forever. God bless her and got her rest in peace.

    May 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. BeDe140

    Spring Affair was one of my favorites.

    May 18, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. AngieS

    Rest in Peace, lovely songbird. Your music was the soundtrack of our lives and you take a little piece of our hearts with you on your journey. Bloom a smile and shed a tear at the memories; your life and loss touches us all.

    May 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mighty steve

    Sunset People was my favorite song in my teens and will always be one of my favorites.

    May 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mia in California

    Dim All The Lights was my all time favorite. I was a teenager and her songs are memories of the times of my life. RIP sweet songbird.

    May 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ROBBIE K

    Dim All The Lights....very nice

    May 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick

    Could It Be Magic – the drama and longing in the song! The build, the climax. Magnificent!

    May 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. Music Lovah

    My favorite is Heaven Knows.

    May 18, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  14. jen

    I'm twenty three years and I grew up listening to disco,my parents have hundreds of pictures of them in double knit suits,mom in hot pants and tube and halter tops (big boobs and long legs)lol they looked great they said they had a lot of fun and they love Miss Summer.I called my dad yesterday and it was if they'd lost an old friend,he said she was amazing.

    May 18, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. tony

    once upon a time – one of the best albums ever – any type of music – double album, one side all electronic with georgio moroder

    May 18, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  16. pam1ji

    I am in shock-Last Dance is my favorite song and She Works Hard For The Money is my anthem-RIP Donna Summers

    May 18, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |




    May 18, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  18. Otto Mueller

    she was simply our best singer.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  19. Jack Clauss

    We will all miss her.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  20. Mrs. Thing

    Don't forget "This Time I Know It's For Real!"

    May 18, 2012 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  21. Robert Moore

    I Feel Love
    This Time I Know Its For Real
    Sunset People
    Last Dance
    To Paris with Love
    Stamp Your Feet
    I'm A Fire
    Dinner With Gershwin
    The Wanderer
    No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
    On The Radio
    Melody Of Love
    I Will Go With You
    Love To Love You
    State of Independence

    May 18, 2012 at 3:42 am | Report abuse |
  22. J.J. Hemingway

    I played Donna Summer on my radio shows when she first hit, and have continued to do so. I have my personal Donna Summer favorites including "I Love You" from early 1978-not a major hit-almost hit the top-30, and then one of her last top-10 songs in 1989-"This Time I Know It's For Real." And of course her remake of Richard Harris' 1968 hit "MacArthur Park." I had the honor of meeting her in the summer of 2008 when she performed live her in Spokane-a true class act. And many aren't aware Donna became a born again Christian in the early 80's, which reflected the way her music changed a bit. She is now in a much better place, and this world is a better place thanks to her amazing music! And her music will live on forever! Donna-thanks for the music!!!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
  23. ricardo_kiwi

    so many memories, so many more hits.
    Will always remember the fantastic album artwork.
    Heaven knows we couldn’t have asked for a greater artist

    May 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Tim

    There were so many hits that broke out of the Disco genre and became timeless pop classics. Today's dance music industry owes everything to her. Even up to her last album in 2008, every song she released was remixed and would go to #1 on the billboard dance charts. She had one of the best voices in the business and it would blow you away at a concert. Thanks for the music Donna and for bringing so much joy and dancing into our lives.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Ben Lee

    Also..."Mimi's Song" from Live and More. "Happily Ever After" from "Once Upon A Time", "On The Radio"...and many more! She's definitely a trail blazer to electronic dance music with "I Feel Love", "Sunset People", "I Need You" etc etc.
    RIP Donna Summer

    May 17, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Mark

    Without a doubt, her music will remain with me until my own ending. And between now and then...endlessly....

    Carry On, carry on my love. Just don't look back again. Follow the dream that's in you. Say so long, say so long my love. Just get it right this know its all up to you.

    Carry on.

    May 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Blondet

    Rest in Peace Mama. You will never be forgotten. Your music, gentle spirit and bold style of music will live on through the years. Your brave bold style of music back when it was something nasty, perverted and disgusting for women to be singing like that. You did your thing, with class, sincerity, power to all women. You don’t have to be a beaten housewife who doesn’t know where to go or what to do, or having to keep it shut down and bottled up.

    You did it seductively without having to show all your goodies cheapening yourself. e.g. J-Ho [music videos with hardly nothing on], the old Britney Spears [opening up your legs with no panties on], Christina Aguilera [on the singing show The Voice, what was that bathing suit thing then she gets up on stage twice so everyone can look at you. Why?]

    You along other women shook up the music industry. Listening and thinking of your music I ask myself, would we have Ms. GaGa or Mrs. Bey (I know they’re not disco). Hard to tell. On my behalf I say THANK YOU!

    My condolences to your family.


    May 17, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  28. karen5757

    dim all the lights,
    this song by donna summers says it all. we will miss her, but she will always be with us when we listen to her music.
    god bless you donna summers

    May 17, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Dr Toon

    How could this list NOT include "I Feel Love"??? Only the track that launched the dance scene, techno, electronic and new wave genres as we know them.
    Such a loss.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      TOTALLY AGREE! I have been playing this song for months in my car! " Love to love you" is remarkably undated techno trance music – infact is the origin of trance music and by that is the seed of what disco was in europe and the middle east in the 70's before disco was taken over by maudlin barbara Streisand saccarine sweet leisure suits meets long sideburns camp... It fired after nihlism PUNK into a vein

      May 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      ... i feel love... A spiritual embrace of the divine that was the heart of disco. Not dancing with a partner in some choreographed predetermined steps for others but being swept into estatic embrace of eternity...

      May 17, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • A tonal

      I could not Agree more, underrAted, but still my Absolute fAvorite.

      May 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  30. danielwalldammit

    It's a shame. If more Disco artists had had her talent (or pipes half as impressive), I think the 70s would have been a much more interesting time.

    May 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Author, G. D. Grace

    Reblogged this on Author, G. D. Grace.

    May 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  32. The Soga

    Remember when I met her in Dominican Republic, at the inauguration of the new Hotel Jaragua. She was the most admired woman and the most beatiful sweet voice ever heard off. May her RIP. We will always love you.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Bree

    RIP Donna, your music will live forever – I have such great memories created listening, singing, and of course dancing to your music. I was fortunate enough to see you in concert (Crayons) a few years ago, you were still popping and rockin girl, it was a night I would not soon forget, you sang all the old favorites and the new. You were the best...heaven will be booming tonight! Prayers, thoughts and love to your family at this will be missed and remembered forever!

    May 17, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  34. cesar

    Thanks for the playlist, only a sample of her hits and versatility. Donna Summer: Thanks for your voice, singing, music and talent. While one of your songs says 'enough is enough,' I just can't get enough of your music. Gracias, Donna Summer!

    May 17, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Michael D

    Her voice, her strength, her faith and her legacy are our treasures forever. Rest In Peace Sweet Donna.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  36. disco boy


    May 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  37. disco

    The three electronic traxz from the LP Once Upon A Time are my faves, "Now I Need You," "Working The Midnight Shift," and "Queen For A Day"

    May 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Rick

    Some of my best High School memories were based around her fantastic this day when I hear one of her songs it brings me right back there again...54 now. Thanks Donna you will be missed.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jennifer '62

    Of course Love To Love Baby,how many of us lost our virginity to that one?Thanks baby girl RIP.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  40. John

    I find it strange that her best hit by far (Hot Stuff) is not here above. Search on "hot stuff" on Youtube and you'll get real action!

    May 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Lynn Mason

    OMG no not The Disco Queen?My best friend and I hit all the major clubs in the city (NY),Philly and Jersey.I had a 1979 silver anniversary Vette,we were eighteen and that was drinking age at that time.My Bad Girls eight track blasted out of my dash all that summer.It was one of the best years of my life.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Shakra

    When I was a 17 years old, I was "discovered" by Donna Summer and she was responsible for getting me my first record deal with Polygram Records.
    Spending a brief moment in time inside her inner circle of family members, I can fondly recall that without even trying, they were a constant example of loyalty, faith and strong family values.
    She was, in her day, the The Lady GA GA of the music world, and she still had the amazing voice she was blessed with, up to the very end of her short life .
    Truly an ICON, she was very soft spoken, humble and incredibly generous.
    Thank You Donna, for giving me a chance to know you, and for the light you brought to the world on and off the stage.

    May 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. joyous

    Thank you so much for listing "Heaven Knows". My favorite Donna Summer song, and my #2 favorite song of all time.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  44. DJ Bad Brad

    My favorite song was the top-10 song she did in 1982 with Quincy Jones called Love is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)...if that song doesn't get you moving, you should check your pulse.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Mischief Managed

    Summer Fever.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Dance This Mess Around

    Enough is Enough.
    Her duet with Barbra Streisand (extended version)
    One of the greatest duets in pop history.

    May 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  47. markus

    Hot Stuff, MacArthur Park, I Feel Love, Enough is Enough, Could it Be Magic, Sunset People, Dim All the Lights, On the Radio, Dinner with Gershwin, This Time I Know It's For Real, Melody of Love, I Will Go With You, I'm a Fire... the list of great songs (and big hits) goes on and on...

    May 17, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Disco Stu

    MacArthur Park Suite best 18+ minutes of DISCO EVAH!!!!!!!!!

    May 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dancin' Fool

      Totally agree with you!!! What a (bleepin') AMAZING production that was! Double LP "Once Upon A Time" – phenomenal concept album – epic in scale. The work she did with Giorgio Moroder was UNBELIEVABLE. This is a sad sad day...

      May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |

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