A top-selling song after its initial release, it sold 14 million copies worldwide and has remained a popular disco anthem, as well as being certified platinum by the RIAA.

The song's lyrics describe the narrator's discovery of personal strength following an initially devastating breakup.

The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and on the UK Singles Chart on consecutive weeks.

The song is frequently recalled as a symbol of female strength and as a gay anthem.

In 2016, the Library of Congress deemed Gaynor's original recording to be "culturally, historically, or artistically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

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".

The track is ranked at #97 on Billboard magazine's "All-Time Hot 100".

In 2000, the song was ranked #1 in VH1's list of the 100 greatest dance songs.

In November 2013, Gaynor released a gospel album entitled We Will Survive, which includes a new, updated remix of "I Will Survive" by DJ Shpank in both extended and radio edit formats.