TMZ is reporting that disco diva Donna Summer passed away Thursday morning at the age of 63. After a battle with cancer, she succumbed to the disease while in Florida. From TMZ:
Donna Summer — the Queen of Disco — died this morning after a battle with cancer … TMZ has learned.
We’re told Summer was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.
Sources close to Summer tell us … the singer was trying to keep the extent of her illness under wraps. We spoke to someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago … who says she didn’t seem too bad.
In fact, we’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.
A winner of five Grammy awards, she is synonymous with disco music of the ’70s often introducing innovative sounds to dance music with longtime collaborator and producer Giorgio Moroder. Key disco hits include the groundbreaking “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”
In the early ’80s as disco simmered and AIDS grew, she was often criticized for rumored statements that evoked homophobia. She allegedly had commented that AIDS was God’s punishment on gays for their lifestyle. The rumors haunted her career even as she denied them.
With a slight resurgence in the mid-’80s, she found renewed footing both on the charts and with gay fans. With hits such as “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s For Real,” she returned to the dance charts and the turntable of gay club DJs.
Summer’s last album, Crayons, was released in 2008 and peaked at 17 on the Billboard 200. She is survived by her husband and producer Bruce Sudano and three daughters, Mimi, Brooklyn and Amanda.
Below is video of Summer singing “Last Dance” at the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize Concert.
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