Gloria Gaynor Repurposes ‘I Will Survive’ To Help Ward Off Coronavirus

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Gloria Gaynor has taught fans a thing or two about survival since the 1970s, and she’s applying her famously steadfast approach to the coronavirus, too.  

On Wednesday, the disco diva posted a short TikTok video that showed her washing her hands to a snippet of her 1979 hit, “I Will Survive.” 

In an accompanying caption, Gaynor wrote, “It only takes 20 seconds to ‘SURVIVE’!”  



The two-time Grammy winner’s advice is in keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that recommend soaping up for at least 20 seconds to fight COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. 

That’s roughly the same time as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, though media outlets and Twitter users have been quick to suggest alternative songs with 20-second choruses that can be used. A new app, Wash Your Lyrics, allows users to create a hand-washing infographic for the song of their choice. 

Few ditties, however, seem quite as applicable to our current climate as “I Will Survive” with its forward-thinking message of self-empowerment. 

Gaynor, 70, has been enjoying a career resurgence. In January, her 2019 album “Testimony” won a Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album. 

Speaking with NPR last year, she said she initially felt “I Will Survive” was “a double-edged sword” in that the era-defining song’s success as a disco standard obscured that her music incorporates a variety of genres, including jazz, R&B and gospel. 

These days, however, Gaynor has come to view “I Will Survive” as “the core of my purpose.” 

“The song has done so much for so many people, and I am pleased and proud to have been the one to record it,” she said.

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