The Queen of Disco,Donna Summer, has lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 63. Summer was born on New Year’s Eve in 1948 in Dorchester- a suburb of Boston, Mass. She is survived by her husband Bruce Sudano, three daughters- Brooklyn, Amanda and Mimi, as well as four grandchildren. She was one of seven children.
Summer grew up singing in churches. As a teenager, she started several musical groups on her path toward finding her niche in the music industry. Summer dropped out of high school when she decided she was going to become a singer.
Summer played the role of Sheila in the Broadway musical, Hair, when it moved to Europe. She lived in Germany for several years, where she learned to speak German and was part of several German musicals.
Summer recorded her first single, “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” in 1971. She released several singles over the years. As a background singer for the Three Dog Night, Summer signed a record deal for her first full album, Lady of the Night. The album was released in Europe with limited success. In 1975, Summer wrote the lyrics for “Love to Love You, Baby”. The song was then adapted to a longer version with a disco vibe. In early 1976, the song hit #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
Her songs included, “I Feel Love”, “MacArthur Park” and “Heaven Knows”. In 1978, Summer was in the film, “Thank God It’s Friday” and her song “Last Dance” hit #3 in the charts and Summer won a Grammy Award. After releasing several albums and hitting the top of the Billboards, Summer became known as the Queen of Disco.
The album “Bad Girls” was released in 1974, and contained the #1 hits “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls”, along with the #2 hit “Dim All the Lights”. Summer hit the charts at #1 four times within thirteen months. She had eight top five hits in two years. She also won a Grammy for the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for “Hot Stuff”. In 1979 Summer released a double album, “On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes 1 & 2”. This double album hit #1 and the song “On the Radio”, hit the top five in the U.S. Summer won a total of five Grammys during her musical career.