Disco diva Donna Summer dies

Donna Summer
Donna Summer Bang Showbiz

DONNA Summer has died at the age of 63.

The 'Last Dance' singer passed away last night (17.05.12) in Florida after a battle with cancer.

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According to gossip website TMZ, the Queen of Disco had attempted to keep the extent of her illness from fans and was recently trying to finish up her latest album.

Donna was a five-time Grammy Award winner and the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart.

She also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a thirteen-month period.

Donna, who was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in 1948, married actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 before giving birth to the couple's daughter Mimi later that year.

Although the marriage crumbled in 1975, she kept an altered version of her ex's surname to use as her stage name.

She married Brooklyn Dreams musician Bruce Sudano in 1980 and the couple went on to have two daughters, Brooklyn, born in 1981 and Amanda the following year.

In 1994, the family moved from Los Angeles to Nashville where Donna took time out from showbusiness to focus on painting but had recently returned to the recording studio.

Donna Summer's family are ''at peace'' celebrating the late singer's legacy.

They said in a statement: ''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.''

A host of stars have paid tribute to the five-time Grammy award winner.

Producer Pete Waterman, who worked with her in the 1980s, praised her as ''inspirational'' and ''unique''.

He told BBC News: ''She was the icing on the cake. We were at the top of our game when we worked with her. She was just fantastic.

''Donna was unique. Donna did things Donna's way. One of the first things she said to me was, when you work with me, you work on Donna time... She wasn't a diva, she was inspirational.

"Her talent came from God, she knew she couldn't just turn it on.''

Kylie Minogue described the 'I Feel Love' hitmaker as ''one of my earliest musical inspirations'', while Mary J. Blige described her as ''truly a game changer''.

Music producer Quincy Jones described Donna as the ''soundtrack to a decade'' in a twitter tribute.

He wrote: ''Rest in Peace dear Donna Summer. Your voice was the heartbeat and soundtrack of a decade.''

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres admitted she was ''so sad'' over the news.

She wrote: ''I'm so sad about the news that Donna Summer died this morning. I was a big fan. I even used one of her songs in my show that airs today.''


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Topics:  celebrity death disco music singer

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