She Works Hard for the Money
|"She Works Hard for the Money"|
|Single by Donna Summer|
|from the album She Works Hard for the Money|
|B-side||"I Do Believe I Fell in Love"|
|Donna Summer singles chronology|
"She Works Hard for the Money" is a song by American singer Donna Summer from her 1983 eleventh studio album of the same name. Written by Michael Omartian and Summer, the song was released as the lead single from the She Works Hard for the Money album on May 1983, by Mercury Records.
It became a hit for Summer and is one of her signature songs, reaching number one for a three-week stay atop the Billboard R&B singles chart (her first since 1979), number three on the Billboard Hot 100, and number three on the Dance Club Play chart. The single ended up as Billboard's fifteenth-best performing song of 1983. Summer performed the song live as the opening of the 1984 Grammy Awards. Summer's Grammy performance was released on the 1994 video cassette Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume I.
Background and composition
Co-written by Summer, told a story of a woman who "works hard for [her] money". It was based on an actual encounter that Summer had with an exhausted rest room attendant named Onetta Johnson (at the iconic Los Angeles restaurant Chasen's), who was later mentioned in the song and featured on the album's back cover.
The music video for the song, directed by Brian Grant, debuted on MTV and became the first video by an African American female artist to be placed in "heavy rotation" (a term used by MTV at the time to indicate a frequently-aired video). The video shows a woman, working as a waitress in a diner, who is burdened with many situations in her life such as work and raising two unruly children. It is also seen that she has abandoned her hopes of being a ballerina. Summer appears as an observer through a kitchen window, a woman who assists the fallen-down protagonist of the video, and, at the end, a leader of a troupe of women, in various work uniforms, who have taken to the streets to signify their independence and gain recognition for their "hard work". The protagonist is also seen dancing in the street with them.
In a parody of the image created by this song, and its cover art picture, Summer herself appears in the Frank Sinatra video for "L.A. Is My Lady", released in 1984, as a waitress who serves a patron and then wipes her brow.
There are two versions of the music video. One is the single edit, the other remains faithful to the original length of the album version of the song.
- Jones, Nate (September 29, 2010). "Rock and Roll Hall Nominations Announced: Who Has the Best Chances?". Time. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
With a career spanning funk ("Love to Love You Baby"), disco ("Last Dance") and New Wave ("She Works Hard for the Money"), Summer is probably the most accomplished female artist up for induction this year.
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Donna Summer's big post-disco hit "She Works Hard For the Money"
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