Dueling Disco Divas (Fall 2003) CHAKA! THROUGH THE FIRE Impoverished Illinois child with low self-esteem seeks solace in music and becomes a Grammy winner. TURNING POINT Fronted a band of… Memoir Rodale Press
Review

Dueling Disco Divas (Fall 2003)

Details Writers: Tonya Bolden, Chaka Khan; Genre: Memoir; Publisher: Rodale Press

CHAKA! THROUGH THE FIRE Impoverished Illinois child with low self-esteem seeks solace in music and becomes a Grammy winner. TURNING POINT Fronted a band of four white guys known as Ask Rufus, landing her first record deal with them at age 19. TELLING QUOTE ''Listen, motherf -- -er, I'm gonna have babies AND be a star -- with you or without you.'' LOW POINT In the '70s, she contemplated jumping off a Texas hotel balcony. ON HER IMAGE ''I'm tired of feathers-and-leathers. I'd like to wear some fabric for a change.'' BOTTOM LINE At times gritty, but only scratches the surface.

ORDINARY GIRL: THE JOURNEY Donna Summer with Marc Eliot (Villard, $24.95) Impoverished Boston child with low self-esteem seeks solace in music and becomes the ''Queen of Disco.'' TURNING POINT Fronted a band of five white guys known as the Crow, but signed a solo record deal at age 19. TELLING QUOTE ''Was the Diva of Love herself getting the vapors?'' LOW POINT In 1976, she tried to jump out of a window at a New York hotel. ON HER IMAGE ''It was an image I regretted. I mean, who could live up to that? Not even Marilyn!'' BOTTOM LINE Too much gloss, not enough foundation...just like disco!

Originally posted Oct 10, 2003 Published in issue #732 Oct 10, 2003 Order article reprints