Donna Summer, Queen of Disco, Dead at 63
(NEW YORK) -- Disco and pop music icon Donna Summer has died, ABC News has confirmed. The singer passed away after a battle with cancer and died in Florida. She was 63 years old.
A statement from the family of Summer's husband, Bruce Sudano, reads: "Early this morning, surrounded by family, 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."
The statement ends with a request to make a donation in Summer's name to the Salvation Army, in lieu of flowers.
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, Summer -- a five-time Grammy Award winner known as the Queen of Disco -- revolutionized dance music with her seminal hits "Love to Love You Baby" and "I Feel Love." Those tracks established her career and were followed by a string of hits, including "Last Dance," "Hot Stuff," "MacArthur Park," "Bad Girls" and "Dim All the Lights."
Summer continued her career into the '80s with hits like "She Works Hard for the Money" and "This Time I Know It's for Real." The first woman and the first African-American Artist ever to win a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, for "Hot Stuff," Summer was shortlisted for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but to date has never been inducted.
Summer's chart achievements and awards were numerous. She was the first artist ever to score three consecutive number-one double albums. She scored at least one Top 40 hit in every year from 1976 to 1984. Her presence on Billboard's Disco/Club Play chart spanned from 1975, with "Love to Love You Baby," through 2010, with "To Paris with Love."
In addition to her five Grammy Awards, Summer won six American Music Awards and was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, for "She Works Hard for the Money." She was honored twice by the Dance Music Hall of Fame; she herself was inducted as a recording artist, and her song "I Feel Love" was also inducted.
According to Billboard, Summer is survived by her husband, three daughters, and four grandchildren.
Nile Rodgers, founder of Chic and one of dance music's architects, tweeted, "For the last half hour or so I've been lying in my bed crying and stunned. Donna Summer RIP."
Summer was most recently seen performing with Seal in David Foster's 2010 PBS special Foster & Friends and on America's Got Talent, performing with former contestant Prince Poppycock.
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