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Disco Queen Donna Summer (63) passed away after battling lung cancer
Published: May 18, 2012 @ 10:21 AM
Donna Summer (63)
May 17, 2012
Cause of Death:
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In 1975, Donna Summer released a pop single unlike any before it.
The singer, then an unknown in the U.S., was living in Germany and working with Italian producer Giorgio Moroder and lyricist Pete Bellotte. Together they came up with a breathy, minimalist number that sounded flagrantly sexy.
Summer's coos acted as musical erotica atop a simple, four-on-the-floor drum beat. "Love to Love You Baby," all 17 minutes of it, set a template that would ignite Summer's career, and a style that defined an era: disco.
She became the face and voice of one of the most powerful music and cultural movements in America. As a disco icon, she projected an empowering African American femininity that would influence artists from Grace Jones to Beyonce and Rihanna, and help make her a figurehead of gay club life. As an artist, her music was incalculably influential.
Her singles with Moroder like "I Feel Love" are considered early electronic dance music, now a defining sound of today's top-grossing pop. And she survived the disco backlash of the late 1970s and early '80s to remain one of pop's most pioneering artists, whose legacy can still be heard in Lady Gaga, the Electric Daisy Carnival and countless nightclubs around the world.
Summer, 63, died Thursday at her Naples, Fla., home after a long struggle with cancer. In a statement, her family confirmed her death.
Donna Summer dies at 63; diva of disco
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