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Disco remains one of the most ridiculed popular music genres of the late twentieth century. But as scholars have argued, the genre is far less superficial than many people believe. Take the case of disco icon Donna Summer: she may have been associated with popular songs about love and heartbreak (subjects hardly unique to disco, by the way), but like many Black women singers before her, much of her music also reflects concerns about community and identity. These concerns are present in many of the genre’s greatest songs, and they generally don’t require much digging to reveal.
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