Donna Summer

Donna Summer's title as the "Queen of Disco" wasn't mere hype. Like many of her contemporaries, she was a talented vocalist trained as a powerful gospel belter, but she set herself apart with her songwriting ability, magnetic stage presence, and shrewd choice of studio collaborators, all of which resulted in sustained success. During the '70s alone, she topped the Billboard club chart 11 times with high-quality, often-high concept material that included the rapturous "Love to Love You Baby," the innovative "I Feel Love," and a radically transformed "MacArthur Park." These crossover hits embodied the disco era with audacious musicality and uninhibited eroticism. After her subgenre was declared dead, Summer was very much part of the evolution of dance music. Through the feminist anthem "She Works Hard for the Money," she became an MTV star, and she continued to top the club chart with disco-rooted house singles through 2010, 35 years after her breakthrough. Indeed, she was the ultimate disco diva.