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For those who weren't there, it's hard to imagine the impact of the arrival of disco. For a decade, it made New York City the center of the universe, the decadent, dazzling and glamorous palace of all the nightlife in the world. It became a whole new dancefloor culture with its own language and dress and for thousands, it was the only time they came to life.
Disco created a whole new heaven of stars, and the biggest of these was GLORIA GAYNOR.
Lavish, luminous, a powerhouse performer, Gloria Gaynor exploded onto the scene with the first big disco hit, "Never Can Say Good-bye". It was the title track to her 1973 album, the first album of non-stop programmed dance music and this would pretty much change the face of the record industry.
Gloria would later be listed in the 1982 World Book' Encyclopedia as "Proponent of New Music".
From that year up until 1981 she put out an album every year, and every one of them went top 40.
In 1975, she had been crowned Queen of the Discos, in front of thousands of adoring New York City fans. In 1978 came an album called "Love Tracks" which featured Gloria's, and the era's biggest dance hit, and the keynote song of a whole culture, the inspirational "I Will Survive".
This song resonated among defiant hearts around the world, selling fourteen million copies practically overnight. It turned Gloria into not only one of the biggest stars in the world - winning her the following year's Grammy Award for Best Disco Record - but an icon. The song is still today one of the most requested songs of all time as well as the number one karaoke selection. It's been recorded since then in some twenty or so languages, including Arabic, with queen of Paris nightlife Regine recording her own version and right now Gloria's is number one in the charts in Australia after having been released from the soundtrack to the smash-hit movie shot there, "Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert".
Gloria was now the undisputed superstar in a world fueled by money, sex and cocaine; her new realities began to collide with her quiet Baptist small town New Jersey upbringing. She began a quest for some spiritual solid ground: it took her through brief associations with Scientology, Buddhism, Catholicism, Transcendental Meditation and Jehovah's Witnesses until she had completed a circle back to her beginning. In 1982, she became a born-again Christian.
In '84 she came out with the terrific album, "I Am What I Am", with a title song of passionate affirmation strong enough to musically reunite a culture scattered by the closing of the clubs and the pall that AIDS was now casting over city nightlife. For Gloria it would be another big hit.
Gloria had toured the world performing in some 75 countries, giving concerts before Princess Grace of Monaco and the families of President Carter and Sadat, among others, and now she began to spend a great deal of time in Europe, where her fans, particularly the French and the Italians, worshipped her. Between 1985 and 1990 she released some six albums in Italy, France and England, including "Gloria Gaynor '90" which went gold in Italy. The albums increasingly reflected her own new music, including some self-penned and some gospel, but all would include the favorites her fans wouldn't let die.
She continued to perform at major events. She headlined the very first East-West German reunification concert. She sang for Elisabeth Taylor's AIDS benefits.
Then, something extraordinary. A huge seventies revival started in America; with it, disco, and with it, disco's biggest star. Gloria appeared in the television spectacular, "Celebration Of The '70s", with renditions of "I Will Survive" and "Never Can Say Good-bye", that showed she hadn't lost one iota of her power or her luster.
Gaynor, who'd never gone away, was back!
We're in the present. Two albums have just been released: in Europe, "Best Of Gloria Gaynor" is streaking up the charts. It includes a completely remixed version of "I Will Survive" and her own dynamic version of "Stop! In The Name Of Love", which even Diana Ross fans are grudgingly conceding to be the better. Here, Radikal Records is putting out a 17-song double CD, "I'll Be There", which includes a great duet with Isaac Hayes on Barry White's classic, "You Are My Everything", along with some old, some new, some ballads and some gospel.
She's in the final throes of writing her autobiography for Harper Collins/UK, called - what else? - "I Will Survive".
GLORIA GAYNOR. Her name is recognized worldwide. Her voice a dynamic force. Her Grammy Award winning signature song, I Will Survive an inspiration that has touched the hearts of people all over the world. This September 2002, Logic Records/BMG will release the highly anticipated U.S. LP entitled I Wish You Love. This will be Gloria Gaynors first worldwide release in 15 years. It will encompass 15 singles including the debut power ballad
I Never Knew (July 2002 release) with dance remixes by Grammy veteran Hex Hector. Glorias depth as an artist reach new heights in several up-tempo hits including –
Just No Other Way and Got To Be Forever. As an added bonus track, Gloria recorded her anthem I Will Survive in Spanglish , recorded in Brazil!
In 1973, Gloria Gaynor made history as Billboard gave birth to the Disco Action Charts.
Never Can Say Good-Bye bowed at #1 on the charts and became the first Dance Song to reach # 1 status in dance music. 30 years later Gloria Gaynor is still setting the standard.
In March of 2001, her single, Just Keep Thinking About You, topped the Billboard Dance/Club charts at #1, while her international hit Last Night with Giorgio Moroder debuted at #1 throughout Europe. In keeping with the theme of #1, Gloria Gaynor was the first to record an album especially for clubs, and the first to do a mega-extended dance medley party mix, releasing 12 dance singles that are now high-end collectors items.
Gloria Gaynors popularity has continuously flourished into the new millennium. In March, she was honoured at the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo with the coveted LEGEND award presented by long time fan Prince Albert. She made a splash on Broadway in the longest running musical revue, Smokey Joes Café. FOX television series That 70 s Show and the wildly popular, Ally McBeal featured Gloria Gaynor as a guest star introducing her to a whole new generation of television viewers. The film industry continues to feature I Will Survive, on the soundtrack of more than a half dozen major motion picture releases. The song will be featured this summer in the blockbuster release MEN IN BLACK II. VH-1 honored Gloria Gaynor with the number on spot during countdown of the Top 100 Dance Records of All Time for I Will Survive.
Live concerts are an integral part of Gloria Gaynor. She has touched audiences in more than 80 countries with her electrifying performances. Numerous dignitaries and ambassadors from the likes of President Clinton, Princess Grace, Prince Rainer and Pope John Paul II have had the pleasure of watching Ms. Gaynor perform. The French World Cup Soccer Team appointed her as their official Godmother because of her inspiring, uplifting music. Gloria even made the time to write an autobiography entitled, I Will Survive (St. Martins Press) that is a revealing trip through her journey in life. She also lends her support to numerous charities ranging from the likes of The Rita Hayworth Gala for Alzheimers to Revlons Annual Walk for Life.
Whatever Gloria Gaynor sets out to accomplish you can be sure that it will have a positive transformation in the art of music and life as everything she touches is with her deep spirit.
Experience this transformation with Gloria on her new globally released album on Logic Records/BMG, September 2002.
Gloria Gaynor still lives in New Jersey with her husband of fifteen years. Though she never had children, she dotes on some thirty-nine nephews and nieces. She credits the happiness and stability she feels today to God's presence in her life; believes that her music is the tool He uses to pierce the flesh to get through to the spirit. Gloria Gaynor uplifts us all.