Deciphering Donna Summer

Can you imagine Beyoncé with no competition on the horizon, surprising the world not just with one genre – disco – but with hits that blended sex and feminism? Donna Summer‘s reign, which lasted more than a decade, had that impact. The Disco Queen started a worldwide pre-digital fever, a phenomenon that the volume of followers kind of left in the field of time, but still, a legend.

Donna’s journey has already become a musical – with a Brazilian montage too – it hasn’t hit theaters yet (but it’s an obvious biopic!) and is in Max’s collection (ex HBO Max) with an emotional documentary, Love to Love You, Donna Summer, which is full of unpublished images and testimonials. Brooklyn Sudano immersed himself in rich material left by his mother and that transports us to the life she kept away from the media.

Donna was far removed from the first image that was made of her and behind the scenes she struggled with depression, and men abuse, survived sexual abuse as a teenager, was not an ideal mother with her first daughter, and even contemplated suicide at one point. But she was also playful, as her home videos attest.

The singer died in 2012 at the age of 63 from lung cancer, a surprise given the secret she kept until her last days. There is a lot of information that passes quickly and other things that do not go into depth, but it is worth remembering an artist as iconic and innovative as she was.

Love to Love You, Donna Summer contextualizes her art impact that opened the door for so many artists of color ever since. A nice boost for the Christie’s auction on June 15th, when a number of the singer’s personal memorabilia, including dresses, handwritten lyrics, awards, and paintings, will be up for sale. Because anyone who loved Donna Summer knows that it was an eternal passion.


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