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6:15pm UK, Thursday May 17, 2012
Singer-songwriter Donna Summer has died at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer, her family says.
Summer – who sang hits Hot Stuff, I Feel Love and Last Dance – gained prominence in the 1970s disco era.
The five-time Grammy Award winner passed away in Florida, a statement from her family said.
While we grieve her passing, we are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.
“Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith.
“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.”
Often called the Queen of Disco, Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948, in Boston.
She began singing early in the church choir and by her teens had formed several musical groups.
Her first album, Lady Of The Night, arrived in 1974 in Europe, and 1975’s Love to Love You Baby brought her worldwide fame.
Her song Last Dance, in the 1978 disco film Thank God It’s Friday, won Summer her first Grammy.
Summer’s soaring vocals on She Works Hard For The Money brought her a Best Pop Vocal Performance Award in 1984.
In the mid-1980s, Summer encountered controversy when she was accused of making anti-gay comments related to AIDS.
She claimed she had been misquoted but not before thousands of her records were returned and dance clubs boycotted her music.
Summer holds the record for most consecutive double albums to hit number one on the Billboard charts (three) and was the first female to have four number one singles in a 12-month period.
In 2008, Summer launched a comeback and released Crayons, her first album in 17 years.
She leaves behind a husband, three daughters and four grandchildren.
Summer launched a comeback in 2008