Goodbye Sister Donna

Saddened to hear of the passing of Donna Summer. I enjoyed her songs on the disco floors in the 70’s and after that embarrassing period of flared jeans and polyester, I enjoyed hearing of her new life and how her connection with God gave meaning and purpose.

Like Whitney Houston and many other singers, she got her start in the church:

Summer’s performance debut occurred at church when she was ten, when she replaced a vocalist who had failed to show up. Her priest invited Summer to perform, judging from her small frame and voice that she would be an “amusing spectacle”, but instead Summer’s voice recalled a voice older than her years and frame. Summer herself recalled that as she sang, “I started crying, everybody else started crying. It was quite an amazing moment in my life and at some point after I heard my voice came out I felt like God was saying to me ‘Donna, you’re going to be very, very famous’ and I knew from that day on that I would be famous.” Wikipedia

Her voice was a gift of God but as with any gift, there was an ethical and spiritual obligation that came with it:

“And I started crying, and I heard the voice of God say to me, ‘You’re going to be famous, and this is power and you’re never to misuse this power.” Donna Summer, CBN

Well done, LaDonna Gaines!

It might interest you to know that she became an accomplished painter over the last chapter of her life, during her time in Nashville. Her painting style was described as post-impressionist or neo-primitivist. 


Mother’s Arms, by Donna Summer

But I will always remember her as the disco-singer who turned out good. Dang that girl could sing! Have a listen.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.

Leave a Reply