Gloria Gaynor (real name Gloria Fowles, born September 7, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey) is a singer best-known for the disco hits I Will Survive (Hot 100 #1, 1979) and Never Can Say Goodbye (Hot 100 #9, 1974).
Gaynor was a singer with the Soul Satisfiers, a jazz/pop band, in the 1960s. Her first solo single was "She'll Be Sorry / Let Me Go Baby" (1965).
The lyrics of "I Will Survive" are written from the point of view of a woman, recently dumped, telling her ex-lover that she can cope without him and does not want anything more to do with him. The song has become something of an anthem of female emancipation, and is still a staple of office parties and karaoke nights. In 1999, Pixar animator Victor Navone used this song to create an alien music video which for a time was a minor Internet phenomenon.
An interesting piece of trivia about "I Will Survive" is that it was originally the B-side when Polydor Records released it in late 1978. The A-side, a song called Substitute, was considered to be more "radio friendly." Radio DJs flipped the record over and audience response forced the record company to flip the songs and subsequent copies of the single listed the more popular song on the A-side.
"Never Can Say Goodbye" was her first song to top Billboard magazine's dance chart.
Some of her lesser-known disco songs include Honey Bee (1974), Casanova Brown (1975), and I Am What I Am (1983).
During the late 1990's she dabbled in acting for a while, guest starring on The Wayans Bros, That '70s Show, and Ally McBeal before doing a limited engagement performance in Broadway's Smokey Joe's Cafe.
She returned to the recording studio in 2002, releasing her first album in 20 years entitled, I Wish You Love. The two singles released from the album, Just Keep Thinking About You and I Never Knew, both top the Billboard's Dance chart. The latter song also charted #30 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
Over 25 years after its release Gloria continues to ride the success of "I Will Survive", touring the country and the world over and performing her signature song on dozens of TV shows.
On September 19, 2005 Gloria was honored twice when she and her music were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She was inducted in the Artist Inductees category along with fellow disco legends CHIC and Sylvester and her classic anthem, "I Will Survive", was inducted under the Records Inductees category.