"I Will Survive" is a song first performed by 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, certified as 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 in the UK on consecutive days.
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 107 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.)
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". [dead link] In 2000 the song was ranked #1 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 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. The video can be seen on VH-1 and You Tube.
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.