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Tag: Donna Summer (1-6 of 6)

On the scene: Rush embraces cool factor at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

Rush — the Canadian prog icons whose fans have passionately decried their lack of inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for years — finally got their (over)due moment Thursday night when they were inducted to wild applause at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.

Oprah was chilling with Quincy Jones. Jack Nicholson was wearing red sunglasses. Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith was rocking an orange backwards baseball cap. The Foo Fighters, Don Henley, Jennifer Hudson,  John Mayer, and many more famous faces were all in attendance to celebrate the band and their fellow inductees Public Enemy, Lou Adler, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Quincy Jones, Albert King, and Heart on Thursday night.

“When did Rush become cool…?” Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl asked the crowd during his induction speech. “Rush are a band that has balls,” said Grohl. “They’ve always been cool.” He and Taylor Hawkins – who also performed a mock-Rush drum riff while dressed like the band in their ’70s heyday – cheered the trio for building their fame off of fans and fans alone.

(To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a band must have passed the 25-year milestone since the release of their first album; Rush waited nearly 40 years. For the first time, this year fans were allowed to vote in the induction process, finally clinching the deal for a band powered by fans from the start.) READ FULL STORY

Public Enemy, Rush, Heart, Donna Summer to be inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In a victory for those interested in the teachings of Malcolm X and Ayn Rand (or not!), the new crop of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees includes both hip-hop fire starters Public Enemy and Canadian prog merchants Rush.

The rest of this year’s newcomers include Heart, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, and Albert King, as well as Lou Adler and Quincy Jones in the nonperformers category. The induction ceremony will take place at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013, and will undoubtedly feature Flavor Flav embarrassing himself and an extremely long version of “Tom Sawyer.”

It’s hard to argue with any of those inductees, as they all had a great deal of influence over the course of long careers. However, it’s interesting to note the nominees who were left out in the cold: READ FULL STORY

N.W.A, Rush, Donna Summer among new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees

Rush fans, your long-standing tradition of writing angry letters to music magazines may finally be coming to an end.

The Canadian prog icons are among the 15 nominees for the 2013 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They join Donna Summer, Public Enemy, Procol Harum, N.W.A, Randy Newman, the Meters, Kraftwerk, Albert King, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Marvelettes, Heart, Chic, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Deep Purple on the ballot. The names have been sent out to the mysterious cabal who votes for this thing, and the new class will be inducted at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre on April 18, 2013. For the first time ever, there will also be a fan ballot, which will allow those aforementioned Rush fans to shout about conspiracy theories in case their boys don’t make it in.

All told, that’s a pretty unusual collection of names, as there doesn’t seem to be any one artist who stands out as a slam dunk. Sure, plenty of those names made some great music, but there’s not an obvious legend among them around whom the ceremony can be built. For example, last year’s ballot included Guns N’ Roses and Beastie Boys, two canonical acts who were pretty clear inclusions.

This year’s batch will be an interesting referendum on how the voters feel about two groups who are deeply under-represented within the walls of the Hall of Fame: rappers and women. READ FULL STORY

Disco Queen Donna Summer endured even after the era faded

Like the King of Pop or the Queen of Soul, Donna Summer was bestowed a title fitting of musical royalty — the Queen of Disco.

Yet unlike Michael Jackson or Aretha Franklin, it was a designation she wasn’t comfortable embracing.

“I grew up on rock ‘n’ roll,” Summer once said when explaining her reluctance to claim the title. READ FULL STORY

Donna Summer playlist: In memoriam

Has there ever been a musical genre more maligned than disco? Along with hair metal and that random swing-dance revival, disco is often used as shorthand for empty froth that inspired terrible fashion choices and aged poorer than warm Gruyere.

But the legacy of the late Donna Summer, who passed away today at the age of 63, makes a pretty spectacular case for the greatness of her particular blend of funk, soul, R&B, and dance music. She essentially created the genre with her 1975 hit “Love to Love You,” and only elevated it from there.

Over the course of her career, Summer recorded a handful of stone-cold classics that defined the late 1970s for millions, including the memorably “Last Dance,” the smash “Hot Stuff,” the iconic “Bad Girls,” and her whimsical chart-topping hit “MacArthur Park.”

Summer probably had the best 1979 of any recording artist of the era. In addition to “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls,” she put three more singles in the top five: The sweet “Heaven Knows,” the epic “Dim All The Lights,” and the Barbara Streisand duet “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).”

All told, Summer put 14 singles in the top 10, including four number one hits. Her body of work — including plenty of hits that transcended disco — is impressive, and she was moving bodies all the way through her final album Crayons in 2008 (see the adrenaline-packed gem “Stamp Your Feet”).

Give the EW playlist below a spin, and enjoy the best days of disco. READ FULL STORY

Donna Summer has died at 63

Donna Summer, a platinum recording artist and queen of the disco era, has passed away at the age of 63 after a long battle with cancer. Her publicist confirmed the news to

Born LaDonna Gaines in Boston on New Year’s Eve, 1948, she began her career as a session singer for the likes of Three Dog Night before a creative partnership with Italian producer and disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder led to her first hit, the breathy 1976 cultural lightning-rod “Love to Love You Baby.”

High-ranking singles like “I Feel Love” “MacArthur Park,” and “Heaven Knows” followed, and the 1978 anthem “Last Dance” earned the rising star her first Grammy award. 1979’s concept album Bad Girls yielded further smashes, including “Hot Stuff” and “Dim All the Lights,” and that year also saw the popular Barbra Streisand collaboration “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).”

After searching for a new post-disco identity for several years, Summer found her stride again with “Love Is In Control (Finger on the Trigger)” and the title track of her 1983 album She Works Hard for the Money. Several followups, however (with the exception of the top-ten 1989 hit “This Time I Know It’s For Real”) failed to reach the gold and platinum status of her previous releases.

Her immersion in born-again Christianity in the mid-’80s also alienated some fans, as did her alleged statements about AIDS being a just punishment for homosexuality. She later denied those remarks, telling The Advocate in 1989,”I’ve lost a lot of friends who have died of AIDS…  people who ran my first album, who were really close to me, beautiful guys … I never said, ‘If you are gay, God hates you. Come on. Be real. I don’t understand that. Anybody who really knows me knows I wouldn’t say that.” READ FULL STORY

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