Donna Summer, our disco queen, dies at age 63
Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco in the '70s and '80s, died Thursday morning after a battle with cancer, TMZ first reported. She was 63.
Summer was in Naples, Fla., at the time of her death. According to Tampabay.com research, the singer owned a vacation home in nearby Englewood. The LA Times reports Summer had been living there with her husband Bruce Sudano.
The cause of death was cancer, said her publicist Brian Edwards. (TMZ reports Summer suffered from lung cancer, which Summer believed shecontracted by "inhaling toxic particles after the 9/11 attack in New York City.")
Her family has released a statement saying they "are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continue legacy. Words truly can't express how much we appreciate your prayers and love for our family at this sensitive time."
The 5-time Grammy winner (12-time nominee) scored iconic hits including Last Dance, Hot Stuff and Bad Girls. In the '80s, she scored mega-hits with On The Radio, She Works Hard for the Money, This Time I Know It's For Real and The Wanderer. She was also a formally trained painter who had made at least $1 million selling her original artwork.
"As a young girl, I didn’t know what fame was," she once told an interviewer. "I just thought fame was people knowing you. It's an end unto itself, which it should not be."
Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes is one of many artists commenting online on her death today.
"I just heard the very sad news that Donna Summer has passed away," Rhodes wrote on the band's official website. "For me, there is no doubt that her song I Feel Love had a dramatic effect on modern music. It was certainly a key influence on my work with Duran Duran. Together with producer Giorgio Moroder, Donna pioneered the use of electronic sequencers in dance music. Today that sound that seems so familiar, but in 1977, it was a brave new frontier. It’s extremely rare that you hear one song that completely changes the way you perceive music. I Feel Love achieved that."
Sheila E tweeted today: "To my friend Donna Summer, You will be missed but not 4gotten. The first Diva, WE love you. Prayers to the family & friends."
The Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle tweeted: "So sad about Donna Summer....way to young. Sending lots of love and light."
Bobby Brown tweeted: "Rest in Paradise Ms Donna Summer... 1st lady of Boston..."
She is survived by her husband, three daughters, and four grandchildren, according to USA Today.