While the title “Queen Of Disco” may be hotly contended by Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor and even Sylvester, for many it is Loleatta Holloway who rightfully wears the crown.
Holloway started her career in the early Seventies on the label Aware, working on gospel-tinged funk with her husband Fred Smith, before moving on to work extensively with Salsoul Records/MFSB producer Norman Harris and writer/producer Dan Hartman. She released a string of cult hits on the label, and provided vocals for the in-house Salsoul Orchestra. Though these were never big commercially at the time, they have since gone on to define their era and the disco genre itself. So much so that Holloway has become one of the most sampled artists of all time. Producers have been known to make entire tracks out of her throw-away yet distinctive ad libs, and some (like Black Box and Marky Mark) have turned these into huge global hits.
Here is a great edit of her track "Dreamin" done by Richard Sen's longtime partner and collaborator Cazbee from Mixed Blood Cuts. Click on the arrow to download.
A massive loss to the world of music. RIP Loleatta, Angels will be dancing when you come home....