Today marks the passing of Donna Summer, the velvet-voiced chanteuse once hailed as the Queen of Disco. With hits like “She Works Hard for the Money,” “Love to Love You Baby, ” “Last Dance,” and “No More Tears” (duet with Barbara), Summer permeated the collective consciousness of what it meant to be disco. That, and she was the first female artist to chart with back-to-back multi-platinum double albums. With an influence that spanned to the edges of pop culture – from lip sync battles on RuPaul’s Drag Race to being lyric-checked on a Space Ghost album – Summer personified the disco era with a vim and vigor unmatched by her peers.
The songstress – who was battling breast cancer – was remembered in a statement by her family this morning:
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.
Summer won five Grammy Awards and six American Music Awards, and charted three multi-platinum albums. She is survived by her husband, musician Bruce Sudano, three daughters, and four grandchildren.
I know I’ll be playing an all-Donna playlist through the weekend. What were your favorite songs?