There are quite a few plus-size female artists making waves in the music industry, including disco diva Gloria Gaynor.
Gaynor debuted on the music scene in 1975. Since then, the 51-year-old singer has released over 20 albums and has continuously performed live at events all over the world.
Most known for her 1979 inspirational classic "I Will Survive," Gaynor knew that she was going to make a living singing by the tender age of 12. Throughout her three decades in the biz, she has had many highlights, most of which have been related to that one smash hit. Why is that song so special? "[Because] it fits nearly every area of life," answers Gaynor. In 1980, the tune won Gaynor the first and only Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording and, last fall, was chosen by VH1 as the No. 1 Greatest Dance Song. But Gaynor says that her finest moment was "singing to 85,000 people in the New Orleans Superdome and having them all sing 'I Will Survive' with me."
In June, Gaynor will release a brand new album, Staying Power. The disc will contain up-tempo and mid-tempo numbers along with two ballads and two gospel songs. Gaynor plans on touring next summer to support the CD.
Musically, Gaynor doesn't feel that her weight has affected her career. In fact, when she first started out in the industry she was wearing junior sized clothing. "Up until I was 12 years old," she reveals, "I was the object of much ridicule from other kids because I was so skinny. I was determined to gain weight and I overcompensated. Since then, the only time I was not full-figured was between 1975 and 1978." Of her acting career, Gaynor says, "I think I might have missed out on some acting opportunities on TV because of it [being full-figured], but I can't be sure."
What would Gaynor tell women who would like to pursue their dreams of becoming singers? "Be sure your talent is liked and admired by a variety of people-family, friends, strangers," she advises. "You must love performing in front of people and be willing to choose your career over spending lots of time with family and friends at home. Surround yourself with competent, conscientious people who enjoy being in the background. The two most powerful things you can do in life are to trust God to guide you in all your endeavors, and make a good name for yourself based on integrity."
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