From Rolling Stone:
In 1979, Gaynor‘s career was falling apart. Donna Summer had replaced her as the leading disco diva, and the thirty-two-year-old Gaynor had recently suffered the death of her mother as well as spinal surgery. So when she belted out “I Will Survive,” a song about perseverance, she brought extra attitude.The track was originally a B side, but after enterprising DJs started to play it at discos, it turned into a smash.
The song’s lyrics describe a narrator who finds personal strength while recovering from a breakup; it has often been used as an anthem of female empowerment, and HIV/AIDS awareness – and is a firm favorite on the karaoke circuit.
The song was rated number nine on George Carlin‘s 10 Most Embarrassing Songs of All Time.
I couldn’t resist adding this scene from The Replacements: