Donna Summer

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012

The undisputed Queen of Disco, Donna Summer (LaDonna Gaines) was a steady presence in the Billboard Top 40 for more than a decade in the 1970s and ’80s. Born in Boston, Summer took a very unconventional route to international stardom. She left high school and moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre…specifically, she wanted to be in the groundbreaking show Hair. She ended up landing a role in the Munich production of the show. While in Germany, she began her recording career and eventually fell in with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and began writing, recording and shopping new songs all throughout Europe. In 1974, the trio was able to get her single, “Love to Love You Baby” into the hands of Casablanca Records in the U.S. It became a hit and a popular early track in the emerging Disco scene.

Follow-up hits like “I Feel Love,” “Last Dance” and “Hot Stuff” were released in the years to come. Gold and Platinum records piled up. She won six American Music Awards, five Grammys and was nominated for a number of other awards. When the genre that launched her into stardom crashed and burned out of the public consciousness, Summer rolled with the punches and continued to find success. Her post-Disco 1983 hit “She Works Hard For the Money” spent several weeks at the top of a number of music charts across the globe. She spent the next 30 years recording, touring, painting, acting and doing pretty much whatever else she wanted. In 2012, 63 year-old Donna Summer died of lung cancer. The music industry – both contemporaries and the younger generations she inspired – all universally celebrated the life of a true queen


Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens – Nashville, TN

Specific Location

Faith gardens; Enter the cemetery and locate the fountain in the middle of the section to your left to the north. Head to the north side of this section. Straight north of the fountain is a section of private gardens. Walk up the middle path and Donna is buried on the left at the first intersection. Her garden gate is marked with an “S”.


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