Donna Summer, who won five Grammy Awards and whose hits defined the disco era in the 1970s, died in southern Florida on Thursday morning, her family said. She was 63.
Known as 'the Queen of Disco', Summer received worldwide success during the 1970s and early 1980s. She is probably best remembered for successful songs such as 'Love to Love You Baby,' 'Last Dance,' 'Hot Stuff,' 'Bad Girls,' and 'She Works Hard for the Money.'
Summer was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the Billboard chart in the United States with her albums 'Live and More, Bad Girls,' 'On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volume I' and 'Volume II.' She won five Grammys and went on to sell more than 130 million records worldwide.
Publicist Brian Edwards confirmed Summer died of cancer while surrounded by her family in Naples, Florida, but declined to say what type of cancer. "Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," Summer's family said in a brief statement. "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."
An unidentified source told entertainment and gossip website TMZ.com that Summer is believed to have contracted lung cancer by inhaling toxic particles following the attacks against the World Trade Center towers in New York City on September 11, 2001. The report could not immediately be confirmed.
Summer is survived by her husband Bruce Sandano, keyboardist and singer of the band Brooklyn Dreams, their daughters Brooklyn and Amanda, and a third daughter, Mimi, from her previous marriage.