*Several months ago, Wendy Wheaton, who heads HollywoodScoop.com, says she had the pleasure of speaking with Donna Summer on the phone, for a new series she was developing for the site.
Wendy says her intent was to speak with Summer about her art, which most people were not aware that she was also an artist. The conversation went in several directions. Check it out:
I was so excited to speak with Donna, who was one of the few stars I hadn’t interviewed. It was especially important also for me, because we were both from Boston, Massachusetts.
Donna was so full of life then. We spoke of many things, and the one thing she said she felt was “there are no limits in life,” (and she truly felt that.)
Although she won numerous Grammy awards from her pop culture hits from the 80’s, Donna Summer had other things going on in her life, but I didn’t know and she didn’t say that she was sick.
She was happily married to her husband of over thirty years, who is also her manager. She has three daughters, and four grandchildren, her sisters and family were always in her life.
Donna was looking forward to moving from Nashville back to Los Angeles a few months ago. We talked about how she first got interested in art, and she said it was because of one of her uncles, who was also an artist. (Her favorite artist was Picasso.)
Because she was creative and artistically inclined, painting calmed her. She even painted quick paintings on her tour bus, enroute to her next concert (as she said, “they would dry quickly.”)
Donna Summer’s celebrity peers and friends also encouraged her to paint the acrylic and water color paintings she ended up selling for thousands and millions of dollars. Sylvester Stallone (who is also a hidden artist,) was one of the first people who encouraged Donna Summer to continue to paint. She went on to tell me that back in the day, even O.J. Simpson, and Nicole Simpson bought several of her paintings.
Aside from art, I asked Donna what other things she was working on months ago. She said, “ Right now I am working on a new album, a TV project, and thinking about doing other entrepreneurial projects.”
She realized she was getting older, and she wanted to have other things going on, so that she wouldn’t have to rely on just being a singer. She was quite entrepreneurial and creative.
“ I love interior design, I like inventing things,” Summer said. “When I get bored I make pillows, cuff links, sometimes I just want to be creative and I make clothing and jewelry.”
Trying to fix problems is something that would preoccupy the singer’s mind.
“I sit and think, how can I fix that problem,” what would I do to fix that problem.”
In the end, Donna Summer was truly an exceptional woman. While she has sung her “Last Dance,” beyond her music, she had other talents, and secret passions she loved. We finished our interview with her saying, “I think the mistake in our industry is, when you are talented in one area, you are probably talented in more than one area.”
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Donna Summer lived life to the fullest, and she had so much more she was planning to do. Her fan base spans beyond the U.S. and Europe, but across the globe. We will treasure her contributions in life, music, and her artistic passions, of which she leaves behind, many personal paintings for her family, that were one’s that she always knew, she would never sell.
See MORE of Donna Summer’s art work at Donna Summer Art Tribute.