Remembering Donna Summer

Disco queen Donna Summer has died, a family spokesperson told the Associated Press. She was 63.

Her family released a statement Thursday saying Summer had died and that they “are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy.”

Known as the “Queen of Disco,” Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Mass., in 1948, as one of seven children. She was raised on gospel music and became the soloist in her church choir by age 10. Summer married Brooklyn Dreams vocalist Bruce Sudano in 1980. She is survived by her husband, three daughters (Brooklyn, Mimi and Amanda) and four grandchildren.


Love to Love You Baby (1975). The 17-minute title track to her U.S. debut was so hot it almost melted the wax.

Could It Be Magic (1976). She gave the 1975 Barry Manilow pop song a sensual makeover on A Love Trilogy.

I Feel Love (1977). A futuristic dance gem from I Remember Yesterday, a concept album exploring musical styles of several decades.

Last Dance (1978). It’s hard not to visualize the spinning disco ball as this smash from the Thank God It’s Friday soundtrack plays.

MacArthur Park Suite (1978). This sprawling, 18-minute tour de force took up one of the four sides of Live and More.

Heaven Knows (1979). Summer collaborated on this single from Live and More with Brooklyn Dreams. She married keyboardist Bruce Sudano in 1980.

Hot Stuff (1979). Tired of sitting home alone, Summer takes to the club to find a warm-blooded lover to share the night with.

Bad Girls (1979). The title track to the double-platinum album oozed the brazen sexuality of a streetwalker. “Toot toot, hey, beep beep …”

No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (1979). Songwriter Paul Jabara, who had written hits for both Summer and Barbra Streisand, brought the pair together for this No. 1 pop hit. An unknown Luther Vandross sang background.

On the Radio (1980). The title track to her greatest hits compilation also appeared on the soundtrack to the film Foxes, starring Jodie Foster, Scott Baio and Sally Kellerman.

She Works Hard for the Money (1983). Summer scored her biggest hit since Bad Girls with this defiant feminist anthem.

 

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