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The queen of Disco, Donna Summer, died this morning in Florida, after a long battle with lung cancer, at the age of 63. Even though Summer was fighting against her illness for a long time, the news of her death is somehow surprising. Summer had always been very discrete about the state of her health, and the fact that she was working on a new album gave a positive impression about her well-being. The late musician is survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, three daughters, and four grandchildren.
Donna Summer was the undisputed queen of disco music, which developed during the ‘70s and the ‘80s. Summer was also a five-time Grammy winner, and the first female artist to win the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, in 1980, for “Hot Stuff”. In 2004 Summer was elected to the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She had an extraordinary career, with her biggest hits, such as “Last Dance,” “She Works Hard for the Money”, and “Bad Girls,” spreading over the ‘70s and ‘80s.
“Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith,” the singer’s family said in a statement today. “While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy. Words truly can’t express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time.”
The internet community had a strong reaction to the death of the late singer, with fans and musicians expressing their sorrows thru the web channels. Among others, Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers tweeted “woah! donna summer gone to the great beyond!!! chuck brown then donna summer they’re gonna be dancing in heaven!!! i love donna summer RIP.” Musician and producer Nile Rodgers wrote, “For the last half hour or so I’ve been lying in my bed crying and stunned. Donna Summer RIP,” and musician Questlove of The Roots tweeted, “I know that the whole ‘disco sucks’ stuff left a bad taste in the mouths of some. But Summer’s work was really a credible legacy.”
Donna Summer had become an icon for the gay community; her death falls on the International Day Against Homophobia, held every year on May 17. When asked in an interview with Clay Cane how she reconciled her being Christian with the acceptance for her gay fans, Summer replied “I don’t think I have to reconcile them. I just accept people for who they are. The Bible says you got to love everybody; it doesn’t make any exceptions, so I don’t make any exceptions.”
We would like to celebrate Donna Summer’s excellent career with one of her greatest hits of all times.