Donna Summer, who was known as the Queen of Disco, passed away today at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer, MSNBC is reporting. Over the course of her career, Summer, who was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, won 5 Grammy awards, and was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the U.S. Billboard chart.
Donna Summer dropped out of school in the late 1960s, convinced that music was her calling, and left Boston for Germany. It was in Europe that she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte while she was singing back-ups for Three Dog Night. In 1975, she approached Moroder with the lyric "love to love you, baby", which would eventually turn into her first successful single, cracking the top 5 in Europe and eventually reaching number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
From there, Donna became a disco legend, releasing many hit records - including 'I Feel Love' and 'Hot Stuff' - and starring in a 1978 film called 'Thank God It's Friday'. When the '80s hit, she moved away from the disco sound, scoring another huge hit with the title track from her album 'She Works Hard For The Money', and continuing to release albums, most of which found success despite some label switch-ups.
In 2004, Donna was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame along with the Bee Gees and Barry Gibb. Her song 'I Feel Love' was also inducted that night.
Donna's last single was 2010's 'To Paris With Love', which made it to number one on the U.S. Billboard Dance Chart, and she was working on a new album at the time of her death. She is survived by two daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda Grace, and her husband Bruce Sudano.
Check out some of Donna's music below:
She Works Hard For The Money
Love To Love You Baby
I Feel Love