Study Guide

I Will Survive Introduction

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I Will Survive Introduction

In a Nutshell

Glam, glitter, noise, decadence, racial integration, sexual liberation, incomparable fame.

In a way, the frequently defamed 1970s disco movement had it all. Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" rose to the top of disco's bright, sweaty heap of dance hits and escapism, and before you could say "walk out the door," the fringe dance-club movement known as disco became a permanent part of musical history.

About the Song

ArtistGaynor, Gloria
Writer(s)Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris
Producer(s)Dino Fekaris
Musician(s)Gloria Gaynor (vocals)
Learn to play
AlbumLove Tracks

Music Video


Influences on Gaynor, Gloria

Diana Ross
Martha and the Vandellas
Nina Simone
Jackson 5
Aretha Franklin
Nat King Cole
Sarah Vaughan
Ann Peebles

Influenced by Gaynor, Gloria

Lady Gaga
Paula Abdul
Becky Baeling

I Will Survive Resources


Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive (1997)
Originally published in 1995 as Soul Survivor, Gaynor's autobiography details her early life and rise to fame.

Peter Shapiro, Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco (2005)
This fascinating book offers a glimpse into disco's lively history as underground club music gone mainstream.


Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive: The Anthology (1998)
This album features 20 years of Gaynor's best songs—though not necessarily her most popular or well known. This is a great album for the fan looking to delve deeper.

Gloria Gaynor, Best of Gloria Gaynor (1977)
This greatest-hits album captures Gaynor's early hits in a concise collection and includes a remix of "I Will Survive."


Gaynor ca. 1970s
Her short afro is a real time-period giveaway. Afros were all the rage in the 1970s, partially as a result of the Black Power movement.

Movies & TV

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
This cult classic about three drag queens driving through the Australian Outback prominently features "I Will Survive," possibly strengthening the connection in the pop-culture mind between Gaynor and the gay community.


Gloria Gaynor Official Site
Decades after "I Will Survive" topped charts around the world, Gaynor would continue touring—primarily in Europe, but sometimes in the U.S., too.

Video & Audio

"I Will Survive" Music Video (1978)
This is the music video that defines the disco era: a woman with big hair singing while a woman in a glittery outfit dances in roller skates. Oh, the '70s.

Cake, "I Will Survive"
This popular '90s version of the song is actually Gaynor's least favorite, as some of the lines have been altered to include profanity.

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