"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 double platinum by the RIAA. The song's lyrics describe the narrator's discovery of personal strength following an initially devastating breakup, delivered with increasing confidence and backed by a stirring instrumental accompaniment. It is one of the most famous disco songs of all time and remains Gaynor's biggest hit. 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 and as a gay anthem. The song was included in the 2012 videogame Dance Central 3 and will be included in the upcoming videogame Just Dance 2014. It is also one of the select songs available on the demo version of Just Dance 2014.
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. New copies of the record were eventually pressed with "I Will Survive" as the A-side ("Substitute" itself peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in October 1978, equaling to number 107 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart).
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 #492 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", and ranked at #97 on Billboard magazine's "All-Time Hot 100". In 2000, the song was ranked #2 in VH1's list of the 100 greatest dance songs. Comedian George Carlin, however, listed it without comment as item 9 on his list of "10 Most Embarrassing Songs of All Time".
A promotional video was filmed in 1979 at New York discothèque 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 is the only one that remains.
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 number five on the UK Singles Chart.
According to the I Will Survive Songfacts, Gaynor's producers Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris wrote this for her after she suffered a back injury and spent 6 months in the hospital.
The clip Gloria Gaynor — I Will Survive can be downloaded for free and without registration.