The first inductees which will include three performers, three records, one producer, one remixer and one DJ will take place at a formal dinner in New York City in the Spring of 2004.
Descriptions were written for the Dance Music Hall of Fame by Brian Chin.
Artists (10 Nominees):
Barry White delivered a powerful dose of romance with hard, hypnotic rhythm, wrapped in a gorgeous swath of orchestration. One of the first dance-R&B artists to sell major amounts of albums to both the pop and R&B markets, White used his singular, penetrating voice to combine seduction with the gospel of togetherness and communication. His cultural influence was acknowledged by Lisa Stansfield, Soul II Soul and many other young R&B artists in an early-Nineties revival that rippled through all of urban music -- as well as in the apt invocation of his name and music as an idealized metaphor for manhood, in the television dramedy Ally McBeal.
The Australian brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, whose rock ballads earned a long hit streak as talented songwriting popstars, were transformed by their mid-Seventies work with Arif Mardin in a rhythmic R&B vein. A career renewal, with the hits Jive Talkin and You Should Be Dancing, led to their scoring of Saturday Night Fever, the 1977 film that defined disco for a worldwide audience. Their suite of five soundtrack songs, performed by themselves, Yvonne Elliman and another family group, Tavares, fired the greatest sales of any album to that time.
Chic combined a powerhouse rhythm section -- Bernard Edwards on bass, Tony Thompson on drums and Nile Rodgers on guitar -- with an ironic modern approach to production, image, and lyric content. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) with words and music referencing James Brown, disco and the dance marathons of yesteryear, suggested Chic might be a studio group destined to be remembered for one idea, but Le Freak became the biggest-selling Atlantic single to that date, and Good Times did no less than give birth to hip-hop, in the hands of DJs who cut it up endlessly.
In partnership with Munich producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, Donna Summer proved that disco and artist were terms that were made to go together, in an unparalleled streak of all-format hits lasting from 1975 to 1980. Her voice was by turns seductive, emotive and powerful, and her songs, launched in what was once a mysterious dance underground, now play as standards of the American songbook in supermarkets and diners and on light-music radio stations everywhere. Her versatility is reflected in Grammy Awards spanning four categories: rock, R&B, inspirational and dance.
Gaynor, an R&B and pop traditionalist at heart, brought balladic interpretation to uptempo material and became discos first diva figure -- as well as being one of the few ever to take a song away from Michael Jackson. Years after all but initiating the concept of the disco record with the epochal Never Can Say Goodbye medley -- the first full album side produced and programmed for uninterrupted club DJ play -- Gaynor also sang the most celebrated pop tune ever written for the dance floor, I Will Survive.
James Brown stands alone in modern popular music for his contributions to R&B, soul, dance and top 40. His unique fusion of blues, gospel and R&B defined soul, now and forever. His accessible and irresistibly danceable hits, including The Payback (Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine and his production of Lyn Collins Think (About It) form a cornerstone without which dance music and hip-hop would simply not exist.
KC & The Sunshine Band
The partnership of Harry Wayne Casey and Rick Finch formed the nucleus of the most important combination studio band, production team and performing group since Booker T. & the MGs. Influenced by American R&B and the intense percussion of Bahamian junkanoo, their party anthems, including Get Down Tonight and Thats the Way (I Like It) brought disco energy, hard funk and rootsy R&B together in a brilliant fusion.