Dance Music Hall of Fame, Abba's Agnetha, Kylie's Grammy, more

By Doug Rule
Published on February 26, 2004, 12:00am | Comments

THE HALL OF FAME DANCE… The battle of disco divadom seems to be breaking out all over again. This time the question seems to be whether or not Donna Summer will beat Gloria Gaynor into the Dance Music Hall of Fame? Summer and Gaynor are just two of ten artist nominees in this new annual dance music honor. Only three artist nominees will be inducted into the inaugural class of 2004, and Summer and Gaynor both face serious competition from the Bee Gees, James Brown and KC & The Sunshine Band, to name three fellow disco-era legends. Disco predominates in all categories, because only those artists whose careers began at least 25 years ago are eligible for nomination. The seminal electronic act Kraftwerk is one rare non-disco nominee, but despite a lackluster album last year, they, probably more than any other 25-year-old or older act, fulfill the ceremony's criteria of artists who “have had a significant role in the ongoing evolution of dance music.” So odds are there's only room for either Summer or Gaynor -- not both -- to get the nod. In our estimation Summer has the edge, as do her producers, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellote, for the one producer inductee slot (out of three nominees). And then there's Summer's “I Feel Love,” which will surely be one of five songs inducted out of 15 nominees, considering that it's still repeatedly sampled and tweaked by major DJs and remixers on CD compilations. Also nominated: “Never Can Say Goodbye” by Gaynor, Diana Ross' “Love Hangover,” Cheryl Lynn's “Got to Be Real,” Thelma Houston's “Don't Leave Me This Way.” The honor explicitly is not based solely on sales or popularity, so it's anyone's guess what the 1,000-member international voting committee will recognize. One remixer (out of three nominees) and three DJs (out of ten nominees) will also be inducted at the ceremony to be held in New York this spring. For more information, see…


GIMME GIMME GIMME (AN A)… ABBA was not among the inaugural nominees for the Dance Music Hall of Fame, even though the 30th Anniversary of their breakthrough, with “Waterloo” at the Eurovision Song Contest, is this year. Surely that oversight will be corrected among the nominations next year. But why wait? New ABBA material will be available in just a couple months. Almost ABBA, that is: the group's blond female singer Agnetha Fältskog will release her first solo album in some 17 years. And almost new, in the sense that the album is made up of covers of previous non-ABBA hits. News of Fältskog's return to the studio late last year sparked an intense bidding war from several record labels, Billboard reports. Warner Music Scandinavia won the worldwide rights to release My Coloring Book, whose title track was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago) and has been recorded by Barbra Streisand and Dusty Springfield, among others. The first single, “If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind,” was originally recorded by Cilla Black

THE YEAR'S DANCE AWARDS… Kylie Minogue won her first Grammy this year, nabbing the Best Dance Recording for “Come Into My World.” Minogue's “Can't Get You out of My Head” was mistakenly not nominated last year, when “Love at First Sight” lost out to Dirty Vegas' “Days Go By.” Maurice Joshua scored his first Grammy this year as well, winning the best dance remixer award for Maurice's Soul Mix of Beyonce's “Crazy in Love.” Minogue bested Madonna (“Die Another Day”) and Cher for her award, but she wasn't so charmed at the 2004 Brit Awards, the British equivalent of the Grammys. Despite Minogue's long-standing success in the U.K., Beyonce trounced her with the award for the year's International Female Artist. Basement Jaxx trounced other worthy contenders Goldfrapp, Groove Armada, Kosheen and Lemon Jelly to justly win as British Dance Act. And Duran Duran was handed the 2004 Outstanding Contribution award by International Male Artist Justin Timberlake, whose breast-revealing reflex was apparently kept in check…

“REALITY” MUSIC… Music is but one venue for reality TV celebrities to try to stretch out their thirteen minutes of fame (fifteen, when you add in erectile dysfunction commercials). But do we really want to hear Paris Hilton sing? Only if she makes another “music” video with Rick Solomon, I say. Still, ‘N Sync's JC Chasez is working on some tracks for a coming debut album from LA Sleep Inn, and he had these profound words to say to Rolling Stone: Hilton “knows she's going to stand under a microscope and everybody's going to scrutinize the hell out of her, and I'm proud of her for being brave enough to do it." Ah yes, for her bravery she deserves a Purple Heart. Meanwhile, Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey just might record a full album of duets if the MTV Newlyweds' remake of Berlin's “Take My Breath Away” is a hit. But no one wants to see that. Nor do we want to see their wish, according to Billboard, to be the “Sonny and Cher of the 21st century” come true. Do we? Heaven help us. American Idol of course is one reality show where music takes center stage among its stars. But its stars don't always manage to stay on center stage for long, as first-season runner-up Justin Guarini found out late last year, when RCA dropped him from his contract, on account of disastrous album sales. Apparently it's easier to be an American Idol anti-star. Did you see the little guy butchering Ricky Martin's “She Bangs” last month in the early round of the third season? Billboard reports that this guy, William Hung, he of the flailing arms, lack of rhythm and engineer's sensibility, has developed quite the fan base. He's been sought out by talk shows and even courted by a record label and a music video production company. Fortunately, he turned the label down, though he could yet reappear again, as a contestant on an Idol “loser” special, called “Uncut, Uncensored and Untalented”…


Billboard Dance 1979 (Summer, Gaynor)

Kylie Minogue

Voice of Abba

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