Gloria Gaynor on the Enduring Legacy of “I Will Survive”

For musicians, there are some songs so monumental that nothing you perform throughout the remainder of your career, no matter how good, stands a chance of displacing it. For pop sensation Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive” is that song.

In 1978, the tune, penned by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris, set disco floors afire. To this day, it’s a song Gloria is asked to perform around the world, she tells Oprah: Where Are They Now?

“People from time to time ask me to sing ‘I Will Survive’ first, but as an artist, I understand that once ‘I Will Survive’ is sung, the show is over,” Gloria says. “So, I make them wait till the last minute for that because they will wait for that.”

However, being inextricably linked to a bona fide anthem has its downside. “The fact that people often don’t associate me with anything other than that song is a little bit frustrating because I believe that I’ve done so many really great songs since ‘I Will Survive,'” Gloria says. However, she adds, “As I’ve come to understand that this song is the core of my purpose, it is well with my soul.”

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