Did you know that Donna Summer was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award?
Summer’s ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ video was nominated for the Best Female Video trophy at the first MTV VMA ceremony in 1984 and earned her the distinction of being the only African-American female artist on the list of nominees. Unfortunately, she lost the accolade to Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’.
‘She Works Had for the Money’ was also nominated for the Best Choreography in a Video award, which would have been given to its choreographer, Arlene Phillips. Unsurprisingly, Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ claimed that title.
Summer was the first African-American woman to enjoy heavy airplay on MTV during the early 1980s, thanks to ‘She Works Hard for the Money’. As a result, she was often credited with opening doors for Whitney Houston, who in turn ushered in a wave of African-American female Pop acts, such as Janet Jackson.
Watch Summer’s ‘She Works Hard for the Money’ video below: