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Gloria Gaynor on Beyonce, Retirement, and What It Takes to 'Survive'

PARADE Published: February 5, 2013
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The disco era may be over, but its queen—and her biggest hit—certainly aren't. Today, Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" boasts nearly 25 million hits on YouTube and has inspired scores of other artists, from Diana Ross to Cake, to record their own versions of the song.


Gaynor, 63, couldn't be happier about the longevity of her song, which recently passed its 30th anniversary. "It's great to know that I'm having this positive impact on people of all ages," she says. "It's a wonderful privilege."

In fact, she's even using the hit's fame to support the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation's Bald, Brave, Beautiful pediatric cancer project. Gaynor rewrote the lyrics, transforming the song into an anthem for kids with cancer.

Plus, with a contemporary Christian album in the works, research for a book underway, and several tour dates planned for this year, Gaynor isn't retiring any time soon. "I definitely have slowed down and do a lot less than I used to, but actually quitting? I don't see that happening," she says.

The legendary singer talked to Parade.com about her favorite (and least favorite) covers of her song, what it feels like to win a Grammy, and the biggest hardships in life that she has survived.

On her favorite and least favorite covers of "I Will Survive."
"The cover by Chantay Savage is my favorite, because she really made it very different. I think that's what you ought to do when you're covering someone else's song. My least favorite is the Cake version, only because they use profanity, and that's something that I would never do, in light of the fact that there are all these young people who want to emulate artists. I feel very strongly about that."

On why she still loves performing "I Will Survive.

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