MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Singer Donna Summer, whose songs defined the music of the Disco 70’s has died after a battle with cancer, according to her family.
There were few details available. Her family released a statement after her death was reported.
“Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith,” said the statement released by the family’s publicist.
“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.”
TMZ.com, which first reported news of her death, said that she died in Florida. Summer has a beach house near Venice, Florida, which is south of Sarasota. TMZ is also claiming its sources report Summer had lung cancer which she believed was caused by exposure to toxic particles in New York after 9/11.
She performed in South Florida at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood in August of 2010 following a sellout show in 2009.
Born Donna Gaines, the Boston native developed an early interest in music. Summer, known as the Queen of Disco, was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to superstardom in the ’70s with iconic hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” She continued her dominance in the ’80s with “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”
Summer holds the record for most consecutive double albums to hit #1 on the Billboard charts (three) and first female to have four #1 singles in a 12- month period; three as a solo artist and one as a duo with Barbra Streisand. She won 6 American Music Awards and 11 gold albums. It is estimated that Donna Summer has sold more than 130 million records worldwide.
The Daily Beast reported that Summer had worked to keep news of her illness out of the media as she tried to work on a new album. Her last CD, Crayons, was released in 2008.
Summer married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano in 1980. They had two daughters together.