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Donna Summer Was Born Today... And Tasha Smith Wants To Play Her In A Biopic

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 31, 2012 10:40 AM
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Donna Summer

Today in history, December 31, 1948, singer/song writer, Donna Summer (born LaDonna Adrian Gaines), dubbed the queen of disco in the 1970s, was born in Boston, MA.

A 5-time Grammy Award winner, she was the first artist to have 3 consecutive double albums reach number one on the USA Billboard chart, and she also charted 4 number-one singles in the USA within a 13-month period.

63 years after her birth, diagnosed with lung cancer, Summer died earlier this year, on May 17, 2012, at her home in Naples, Florida, after a battle with the disease. And earlier this month, it was announced that she would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

And also earlier this year, months after her death, in September, actress Tasha Smith gave an interview to The Grio, discussing her various commercial ventures, including her work with Tyler Perry (TV and film); and in that interview, when asked what her dream movie role would be, Smith responded:

I want to play Donna Summer.

When asked whether she could sing, she replied:

No I don’t, but neither did Angela Bassett when she played Tina Turner.

Touché Ms Smith... touché!

Tasha Smith

I suppose there's a bit of a resemblance between Smith and Summer, so I can visualize her as the late singer.

What I'm not really qualified to comment on is whether she has the acting talent to impress in a performance. I've only seen the work she's done for Tyler Perry, as well as with the Akils in Jumping The Broom, and it's been all mostly one-note - which could be more of a factor of the writing and the roles she's being offered, than her ability.

It seems like when a role calls for a sassy, bossy, saucy, loud black woman, she's probably on every casting director's short list.

So maybe if given the opportunity to stretch, and show range, she'd really surprise us... I don't know.

However, I wouldn't hold my breath for a Donna Summer movie though... unless there's currently one in the works that we don't know about.

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  • dave | May 1, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    id say KELLY ROWLAND!!!!

  • tamara | January 8, 2013 11:02 AMReply

    I could see Tasha in this role. She certainly favors Donna and has some acting chops.

  • Josh | January 3, 2013 3:17 PMReply

    I would like to see Kelly Rowland play Donna Summer in a biopic. I think she kind of resembles her and she definitely can sing. I don't know about her acting chops though. Kelly's acting would probably need a little bit more grooming before she takes on a role like this. She needs more acting experience. She only did like three films. Kelly would need to do more films and improve her acting.

    PS I love Tasha Smith but she has a lot of teeth and gums.

  • troy | January 8, 2013 5:39 AM

    she can probably act just as good as Donna Summer

  • starry118 | January 4, 2013 11:46 PM are wrong for that...the "teeth & gums" part.

  • Rel | January 1, 2013 10:39 PMReply

    Tasha Smith was in The Corner as well as Khandi Alexander

  • FactChecker | January 1, 2013 10:09 PMReply

    First of all, PK, that was Khandi Alexander in David Simon's "The Corner," NOT Tasha Smith. Second of all, she is totally ONE NOTE. But hey, as much as I love the late Ms. Summer's music, objectively speaking, she doesn't really have the controversial or chaotic backstory that inspires or warrants a book about her life, ala Tina Turner, Ray Charles, The Temptations and David Ruffin. So unless she's planning on producing and financing it herself, I seriously doubt her dreams for this role will ever be realized. ... NEXT!

  • Troy | January 8, 2013 5:38 AM

    their only redeeming quality was their music. Technically nothing compelling about their stories either. Pure schadenfreude!

  • hmmm | January 2, 2013 11:58 AM

    check facts much, factchecker?

  • PK | January 1, 2013 6:20 PMReply

    She was really good in "The Corner" and she leads great acting workshops so I think she acts really well.. Tyler Perry also made Angela Basset, Cicely Tyson, Lynn Whitfield, etc look like pretty bad actresses so I can't fault her.

    Speaking of "The Corner", I'm pretty sure that's where Tasha Smith morphed into a Tyra Ferrell/Khandi Alexander hybrid. ...I think Khandi could play Donna too if she was taller

  • ojie king | January 1, 2013 3:58 AMReply

    Well.. there is a resemblance

  • ALM | December 31, 2012 8:21 PMReply

    Did she speak with Ms. Summer about this prior to her death? Did she have her blessing? That's what I really want to know.

  • ALM | January 9, 2013 12:01 AM

    @ Troy: Since I wasn't born when Jesus walked the Earth, I don't know. Since you probably were here then, you tell me.

  • Troy | January 8, 2013 5:35 AM

    so if nobody got the blessing then they should never make a movie? Jesus gave out alot of blessings should everybody be able to play him?

  • Anti-believer | December 31, 2012 7:56 PMReply

    LOLMAO @ It seems like when a role calls for a sassy, bossy, saucy, loud black woman, she's probably on every casting director's short list.

    So true.

    I haven't seen any kind of range in this woman, but good luck.

  • Amy Green | December 31, 2012 3:50 PMReply

    Kelly Rowland would be a good choice.

  • Cherish | January 1, 2013 12:19 PM

    Kelly does look a little like her. Although too bad she can't act.... or sing.

  • Anti-believer | December 31, 2012 7:56 PM

    Please explain why, 'cause I can't see it?

  • joe | December 31, 2012 3:06 PMReply

    You don't know a single song from donna? Helpppppppppppppppppppppppppp! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

  • Boomslang | December 31, 2012 11:43 AMReply

    Perfect match. Tasha's a good actress and she delicious too . I don't know a single song by Donna but I'd wanna be introduced thru a biopic.

  • ChgoSista | January 2, 2013 12:38 PM

    Wow, Boomslang; you're publicly admitting that you don't know "a single song" by Donna Summer. SHAME.ON.YOU.

  • Vana | December 31, 2012 11:40 AMReply

    Good choice! Either Tasha Smith or Wendy Williams who has been mistaken for Donna Summer on occasion.

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