Donna Summer’s Last Dance

Donna Summer, the original disco diva, died yesterday from cancer. She was only 63. I bopped to her tunes during the decadent days of my misspent youth. For me, she was much cooler than the likes of Diana Ross. “Love to Love You Baby” launched Donna Summer’s international career. It was a track designed to court controversy with lots of orgasmic moans and groans to get the knickers of the moral minority in a collective twist. The BBC refused to play it, a sure fire way to empty the shelves. After a string of massive worldwide hits, Donna Summer committed career suicide by allegedly claiming that AIDS was divine retribution, a faux pas of epic proportions given that dancing queens represented the bedrock of her fan base. At the time, AIDS stalked the gay community like the grim reaper. I was one of the lucky ones. Many of my contemporaries were not. It was no surprise that Donna Summer’s career nosedived. Her belated denial of the allegation did nothing to stem the tide and she withdrew from the spotlight to lick her wounds. After a couple of years waiting in the wings, all was forgiven and Miss Summer stepped back in the light with a successful comeback and some classy jingles.