She Really Was Hot Stuff
You can bet that Donna Summer will be remembered at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday. Summer took the award for Disco Artist of the Year in 1977 when Billboard first had a prime-time TV show on which to honor the year's chart champs. The TV show didn't start up again until the early 1990s, but Billboard's year-end issues document Summer's strength through the years.
Summer was the #1 female artist in combined activity on the Hot 100 and The Billboard 200 album chart for two years running, 1979 and 1980. The two years before that, 1977 and 1978, she was #2 among female artists (behind Linda Ronstadt) in combined singles and albums activity.
Summer all but owned the charts in 1979. She was the only artist with two songs in the year-end top 10. "Bad Girls" was #2 (just behind The Knack's "My Sharona"). "Hot Stuff" was #7. And she had two more hits in the year-end top 40. Her remake of Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park" ranked #12. "Heaven Knows" (featuring Brooklyn Dreams) was #39.
Summer was also the only artist with two albums in the year-end top 10 for 1979. Live And More was #6. Bad Girls finished #8.
Summer also did well, if not as well, in 1980. She had three songs on the year-end top 100: "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), a duet with Barbra Streisand, at #34; "On The Radio" at #52 and "Dim All The Lights" at #74. And she had two albums on the year-end album chart: On The Radio—Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II at #14 and Bad Girls at #94.
At her peak, Summer was virtually as hot as Adele has been in the past 15 months. Summer never had a 9-million-selling album like 21, but she had four #1 singles in the space of 12 months. Adele has had three #1 hits.