Dance music icon Donna Summer, known as the Queen of Disco, died Thursday morning in Florida after a battle with cancer, sources told TMZ. She was 63.
The five-time Grammy winner was trying not to disclose the extent of her illness, sources added.
“Someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago… says she didn’t seem too bad,” according to TMZ. “In fact, we’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.”
Summer guested on the 1984 CBS special Donald Duck’s 50th Birthday, which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. Her “The Power of One” was heard on the soundtrack of Pokémon 2000: The Movie.
As well, she was heard on two episodes of The Simpsons: “She Works Hard For the Money” was on Guess Who’s Coming To Criticize Dinner (1999), while “Last Dance” was on Today, I Am A Klown (2003). Her performance of “Love to Love You Baby” was on the soundtrack of “Duel of the Dead,” a 2006 episode of the spoof show Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948 in Boston, she was raised in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood.
The Englewood, Florida resident became a huge star in the ’70s with such hits as “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” In the 1980s, she stayed on the charts with “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”
With producer Giorgio Moroder, she defined the 1970s dance music era, leading such acts as Duran Duran and David Bowie to enter the dance-music scene.
Donna Summer’s surname — slightly changed — came from her first husband, Helmuth Sommer, to whom she was married from 1971 until their 1976 divorce. They had one child.
In 1980, she married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano. They had two daughters together. She is also survived by four grandchildren.