Donna Summer Was 'Queen of Pop'

Don't just limit her to disco, say critics
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2012 5:10 PM CDT
Donna Summer Was 'Queen of Pop'
In this Jan. 12, 1979, file photo, singer Donna Summer poses with three awards she won at the American Music Awards.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Following today's news of Donna Summer's death, critics and fans are lining up to pay their respects to the Queen of Disco. A few highlights from around the Web:

  • Queen of Disco? "A more appropriate title would have been Queen of Pop," writes Melinda Newman at Hitfix. "The musical style may have been disco ... but the truth is no one had to step into a disco to hear a Summer song during her heyday."

  • Still, as for disco, "she was as much a part of the culture as disco balls, polyester, platform shoes and the music's pulsing, pounding rhythms," writes Mesfin Fekadu for AP.
  • She was unfairly judged by critics of her day, notes Ann Powers at NPR. Her rendition of "Love to Love You Baby" offers "a vocal performance as subtle and rich in meaning as anything in pop."
  • "In my head," writes Bernadette McNulty in the Telegraph, "she will always be the ever-young, sexy diva singing with her head back, eyes closed in some kind of ecstasy, lips quivering over the microphone as her arms swing out like wings by her side—the woman who made disco really swing."
(More Donna Summer stories.)

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