Donna Summer Dies at 63
The Queen of Disco is gone.
Donna Summer has died at age 63, her family confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday.
"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," the statement begins. "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."
TMZ was first to report the sad news.
The chart-topping, Grammy-winning singer behind such colossal disco hits as "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance," "Bad Girls" and many others -- plus 80s smashes like "She Works Hard for the Money" -- passed away in Florida after a battle with cancer.
The biggest, most enduring star of the disco era, Summer helped usher disco, dance and later electronic music into the mainstream -- influencing the careers and sounds of Madonna, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and countless others.
She is survived by daughters Brooklyn and Amanda, her grown daughters with husband Bruce Sudano, a fellow musician whom she married in 1980, and Mimi, her eldest daughter with first husband, actor Helmuth Sommer.
Summer's rep had no immediate comment. According to TMZ, Summer had been working on a new album weeks before her passing.
Born to a devoutly Christian family in the Dorchester section of Boston, Summer's racy music -- her breakout hit "Love to Love You, Baby" featured orgasmic moans -- often conflicted with the star's spiritual beliefs. The mezzo-soprano (whose most famous collaborator was producer Giorgio Morodo, who helped create the groundbreaking track "I Feel Love") declared herself a born-again Christian in 1979.
After a long absence from live performing, Summer returned to the stage in the early 2000s, and re-recorded "Love to Love You Baby" in 2011 for a "Loverdose" fragrance ad for Diesel.
A five-time Grammy winner, Summer became the first artist ever to score three back-to-back number 1 albums. She was nominated (but not chosen) for induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.