Queen of Disco Donna Summer, 63, dies of cancer

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Donna Summer

Donna Sum­mer

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.

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