GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Donna Summer died May 17 following a battle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andre Gaines in Boston, Summer was considered the Queen of Disco. Summer released her U.S. debut, 1975's Love To Love You Baby, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and spawned a No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the title track. A Love Trilogy was released in 1976, followed by Four Seasons Of Love (1976), I Remember Yesterday (1977), and Once Upon A Time… (1977), all of which peaked in the Top 40. In 1978 Summer appeared in the disco-themed comedy film Thank God It's Friday. The film yielded the hit single "Last Dance," which earned Summer her first GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Bad Girls was released in 1979, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earning Summer a GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year. The album produced two No. 1 hits, the title track and "Hot Stuff," the latter of which earned Summer a second GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. Summer continued to release albums throughout the '80s and '90s, including the Top 10 hit She Works Hard For The Money in 1983. Summer's last GRAMMY came in 1997 for Best Dance Recording for "Carry On." Her final studio album was 2008's Crayons, which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200.
On July 2 the GRAMMY Museum will unveil its latest temporary exhibit, Donna Summer: Four Seasons Of Love. Located on the Museum's fourth floor, this unique exhibit will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic career of the late five-time GRAMMY winner. This will mark the first exhibit highlighting the career of the legendary Queen of Disco.
"Donna Summer galvanized a diverse group of music fans and she was able to give credibility to a genre of music that had many skeptics," said GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. "We are honored to tell her story and help demonstrate why Donna Summer is not only the undisputed Queen of Disco, but also one of the most successful female artists of all time."
On display through spring 2015, the exhibit will feature gowns and costumes designed by Summer; handwritten lyrics and notes; never-before-seen photographs spanning Summer's entire career; several hand-painted pieces from the singer's critically acclaimed Summer Fine Arts Collection; and set design sketches created by Summer, among other items.
"In 1978, Donna received the GRAMMY Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, her first major industry award," said her husband Bruce Sudano. "Donna's relationship with The Recording Academy was very special to her. On behalf of our daughters Mimi, Brooklyn and Amanda, and the extended family, we are truly honored to have the GRAMMY Museum host this amazing tribute to Donna's legacy."
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Even though summer is winding down, fall is gearing up to be a hot season for new music. Billboard has offered their Fall Album Preview 2013, a collection of 52 new releases to look out for. Among them are upcoming albums from GRAMMY winners Arcade Fire, Mary J. Blige, Chris Brown, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Drake, Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, Kings Of Leon, Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, TLC, Donna Summer, and Keith Urban. … At 82, GRAMMY-nominated "Star Trek" star William Shatner is still beaming with ideas. His latest endeavor? Ponder The Mystery, a progressive rock album set for release on Oct. 8 featuring guest appearances from GRAMMY winners Steve Vai and Vince Gill and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Robby Krieger of the Doors, among others.
Production for season 13 of "American Idol" kicked off Sept. 3 in Boston and the reality singing competition series welcomed a new face to the judges' chair: Harry Connick Jr. "I have always been a huge fan of 'American Idol' and really enjoyed my time as a mentor on the show," said Connick. The pop crooner joins currently standing judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban.
A somewhat gloomy poll conducted by Vanity Fair and "60 Minutes" has revealed the top celebrities Americans would like to bring back from the dead. While the late Princess Diana reigned supreme, also making the list were Apple co-founder and Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Steve Jobs, and GRAMMY winners Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
There's been one glaring omission from Fleetwood Mac's current international tour: keyboardist Christine McVie. Though McVie went her own way from the band in 1998, a recent report has hinted at a possible reunion. According to BBC Radio 2 host Johnnie Walker, McVie revealed in an interview, "If they ask me, I'd play." Somewhere Fleetwood Mac fans are singing "Say You Will."
Elton John was feeling the love on Sept. 2 as he received the first-ever Brits Icon Award, an honor bestowed by British music industry trade organization BPI to dedicated artists who have made a "lasting impact" on UK culture. Presenting the trophy to the five-time GRAMMY winner was Rod Stewart, who joked that John was the "second-best rock singer ever."
Neil Young had to recently ask himself, "Who's gonna drive you home tonight?" According to a report, South Lake Tahoe Police Watch discovered Young stranded on Interstate 80 with his broken-down 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible. The vehicle features a hybrid engine that runs on electricity and biomass fuel and has been a showpiece of an ongoing nationwide tour to promote clean and sustainable energy. Patrol officers were able to help Young off the road, where he then posed for photos, signed autographs and had the car repaired.
(For a complete list of 53rd GRAMMY Awards nominees, please click here.)
The Recording Academy and MusiCares announced performers for the 2011 MusiCares Person of the Year event honoring iconic artist and philanthropist Barbra Streisand, taking place Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, two days prior to the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards.
Artists scheduled to fete the legendary artist are Tony Bennett; singer/actress Kristin Chenoweth; members of the GRAMMY-nominated "Glee" cast Darren Criss, Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison; Herbie Hancock; Diana Krall; Barry Manilow; Donna Summer; Stevie Wonder; and artist Nikki Yanofsky. Streisand, a multi-GRAMMY-winning artist and current GRAMMY nominee, will close the evening with her own special performance. Additional performers will be announced soon.
Proceeds from the annual Person of the Year tribute, now in its 21st year, provide essential support for MusiCares.
The event, a private charity fundraiser, is attended by industry VIPs and others who help support the work of the Recording Academy-affiliated MusiCares Foundation, which offers programs and services to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance. The MusiCares MAP Fund allows access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community regardless of their financial circumstances, and MusiCares Safe Harbor Rooms, at events such as the GRAMMY Awards, offer a support network to those in recovery while they are participating in the production of televised music shows and other major music events.
The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT. For information on purchasing tables and tickets to the event, please contact Dana Tomarken at 310.392.3777.
Past MusiCares Person of the Year honorees include: Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Neil Diamond, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Elton John, Quincy Jones, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Sting, James Taylor, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.
(In an effort to keep you fully informed, and fully entertained, below we present today's FYI and TMI — news you need and news that's, well, sometimes needless….)
Rock Hall Announces 2013 Class
Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Rush, and Donna Summer are the performer inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's class of 2013. Blues guitarist King and GRAMMY winner Summer will be posthumously inducted. Additional inductees are GRAMMY-winning producers Lou Adler and Quincy Jones, who will receive the Ahmet Ertegn Award for Lifetime Achievement. The class will be inducted at a ceremony on April 18 in Los Angeles.
Luke Bryan Tops American Country Music Awards
Luke Bryan was the top winner at the 2012 American Country Music Awards on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas, taking home nine awards, including Artist of the Year, Single of the Year for "I Don't Want This Night To End" and Album of the Year for Tailgates And Tanlines. GRAMMY winner Miranda Lambert followed with three awards, including Single of the Year: Female for "Over You." Additional artists garnering awards included Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Zac Brown Band, among others.
Welch Breaks Up Concert Fight
Fresh off garnering two nominations for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Album for Ceremonials, Florence Welch of Florence & The Machine is still shaking it out, both onstage and in the crowd. Midway through her performance of the GRAMMY-nominated "Shake It Out" during a concert in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Dec. 9, Welch spotted audience members pushing and shoving each other. Realizing that her pitch-perfect pop vocals usually don't arouse mosh pits, Welch took matters into her own hands after spotting a crying fan. "Are you alright my love?" Welch asked before jumping offstage, barefoot and all. After all was resolved, Welch then asked the audience to "kiss and make up and be good to each other." Moral of the story? Don't kiss with a fist, at least not in front of Florence Welch.