Last Dance – Donna Summer | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#3), R&B (#1) and Dance (#1); 1978

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Far from being her swan song, Last Dance kicked off Donna Summer’s hot chart hot streak. Before Dance, the Boston-born singer had scored just two Top 40 hits in two-and-a-half years: the orgasmic Love To Love You Baby in 1976 and I Feel Love in 1977.

Meanwhile, in the clubs LaDonna was hotter-than-hot: hitting #1 five times and staying there for 21 weeks. In 1978 she appeared as Nicole, an aspiring singer, in the film Thank God It’s Friday, whose plot centered around happenings at a disco named The Zoo.

Donna’s featured song, Last Dance, entered the Hot 100 in May. Three months later Donna had the biggest hit of her career. And that was just the beginning. Last Dance was followed by seven more Top 5 singles, including four #1’s. To cap it all off, Last Dance waltzed off with an Oscar – an Best Song from a movie – for both Donna and composer Paul Jabara.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Giorgio Moroder
  • Pete Bellotte

Lyrics Written by:

  • Paul Jabara


  • “Last Dance” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1978
  • “Last Dance” won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1978
  • “Last Dance” won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1979
  • “Last Dance” was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1979