Queen of Disco Loses Battle with Cancer

Posted May 17th, 2012 at 12:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Music legend Donna Summer, known by many as the Queen of Disco, has died.

The 5-time Grammy Award winner died Wednesday at the age of 63 in Florida. Those close to her say she had been battling cancer for some time but had tried to keep the extent of her illness private.

Summer rose to stardom in the 1970's with songs like “Last Dance,” Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls,” which helped define the Disco era.

She was born as Donna Gaines December 31, 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts to a religious family and much of her early training came singing for a church choir.

She moved to Europe in the late 1960s, where she was cast in a German production of the musical “Hair,” and even learned to speak fluent German.

Summer returned to the United States and enjoyed popular success, culminating in 1979 with her “Bad Girls” album, which featured three number one singles.

She continued to have hits in the 1980s, including 1983's “She Works hard for the Money.”

Summer married singer and songwriter Bruce Sudano in 1980. The couple had two children.