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Lauded as the no.1 song of the 100 Greatest Dance Songs in 2000, "I Will Survive" was the FIFA World Cup un-official anthem of the French team, who went on to win the competition 1998.
In 2012 "I Will Survive" was ranked at no. 2 in Rolling Stone's poll of The Best Disco Songs of All Time.
The Daily Telegraph ranked "I Will Survive" no. 48 in their 100 Greatest Songs of All Time list in November 2016.
"I Will Survive" is a hit song first performed by American singer Gloria Gaynor, released in October 1978. It was written by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris. A top-selling song after its initial release, it has remained a popular disco anthem, as well as being certified platinum by the RIAA.
The song's lyrics describe the narrator's discovery of personal strength following an initially devastating breakup. It received heavy airplay in 1979, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the UK Singles Chart on consecutive weeks. The song is also frequently recalled as a symbol of female strength . In 2016, the Library of Congress deemed Gaynor's original recording to be "culturally, historically, or artistically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Recording Registry.
Originally released as the B-side to a cover version of the Righteous Brothers song "Substitute," "I Will Survive" became a worldwide hit for Gaynor when disc jockeys played that side of the record instead. "I Will Survive" entered the Billboard Hot 100 in December and reached no. 1 on the chart in March 1979.
As a disco number, the song was unique for its time by virtue of Gaynor's having no background singers. And, unlike her first disco hits, the track was not pitched up to make it faster and to render Gaynor's recorded voice in a higher register than that in which she actually sang. Most disco hits at the time were heavily produced, with multiple voices, overdubs and adjustments to pitch and speed. "I Will Survive" had a much more spare and "clean" sound.
The song received the Grammy Award for Best Disco Recording in 1980, the only year the award was given. It is ranked no. 492 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time," and ranked at no. 97 on Billboard magazine's "All-Time Hot 100". In 2000, the song was ranked no. 1 in VH1's list of the 100 greatest dance songs.
A promotional video was filmed in 1979 at the New York discothèque called Xenon. Sheila Reid-Pender of Harlem, NY is the featured skater in the video from the skating group, The Village Wizards. Although three videos were filmed that day, the "I Will Survive" video was the only one to survive. Ms. Gaynor was not present during the taping of the rollerskating segment of the video. Ms. Gaynor and Ms. Pender met for the first time on July 7, 2014 in New York at the 92nd St. Y after Ms. Gaynor's lecture and promotional signing of her book "We Will Survive." In this book, Gaynor said, "I wanted everybody—including myself—to believe that we could survive."
Following the success of fellow 1970s disco stars Sister Sledge with remixed singles in the UK in 1993, "I Will Survive" was also remixed and released that summer. This remix reached no. 5 on the UK Singles Chart.
In November 2013, Gaynor released a gospel album entitled "We Will Survive," which includes a new, updated remix of "I Will Survive" by DJ Shpank in both extended and radio edit formats.