Friday, May 18, 2012
Disco queen Donna Summer, whose pulsing anthems became the soundtrack for a glittery age of sex, drugs, dance and flashy clothes, has died at age 63.
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in 1948, Donna Summers dies at her home in Naples, Florida. She dies surrounded by friends and family. She leaves behind a legacy of hit singles like Love to Love You Baby, Last Dance and Bad Girls as well as She Works Hard For The Money from the hit 80s movie Flashdance.
Entertainment web site TMZ had reported that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
TMZ reported she contracted it after inhaling toxic particles following the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York.
"Early this morning, surrounded by family, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," the singer's family said in a statement.
"While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy."
Her career began in Germany where she performed in productions of the shows Hair and Porgy and Bess and worked as a studio session singer.
But it was not until 1975 that she found fame with the moaning vocals and grinding beat of Love to Love You Baby which was a huge, but controversial, hit in European nightclubs.
Summer followed up with a string of other disco tunes in the 70s with hits like Hot Stuff, I Feel Love and Bad Girls, and her 1978 cover version of the ballad MacArthur Park, which was her first number one record in the United States.
In the 80s, she scored a massive hit with She Works Hard For the Money as she sought to branch out of the disco genre.
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