Somehow, I never expected to live through one year where two of pop music's greatest singers died.
Donna Summer was the lifeline of my childhood, the Queen of Disco who made the world safe for teen age gay boys yet to come out. She was beautiful, insanely talented, and she put dance music on the top of the pop charts.
Of course she was much, much more than that. She was a stage performer. She was a survivor, one of the brightest examples of a seventies cocaine casualty rising from the ashes. She survived the "death" of disco and rode the return of dance music wave of the late eighties and early nineties back to her rightful place in pop history.
I am blessed, in my life, to have known one of her most ardent fans, my best friend. His love became my love; his joy in her music became mine. I am chocolate... but I don't like the heat.
She was the greatest of gay stars, a career created and supported by gay men, who managed to say "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"... and still managed to make it right in the end. It helps that, you know, she wasn't necessarily a genius... but man, could she sing. So that's mostly what she did.
People will talk about Last Dance and MacArthur Park and Dim All The Lights - the longest sustained single note in a number one song by a singer - but my two favorites are earlier and simpler. No one has, or will ever improve on "I Love You" and "Heaven Knows."
I am a dancer. I love to dance, to feel the rhythm on the dance floor. I have been dancing to Donna Summer since I was 12, and almost consistently ever since. And we will dance again to her music. And it will all be all right.