Donna Summer Dead at 63

2:32 PM, May 17, 2012   |    comments
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By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Disco legend Donna Summer died Thursday at age 63, reportedly after a battle with cancer.

"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," the singer's family said in a 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."

RELATED: USA TODAY: Disco queen Donna Summer dies after cancer battle

TMZ was the first to report the singer's death, and the site reports that she was recording an album at the time of her death.

The Grammy-winning singer, nicknamed the Queen of Disco, had numerous hits in both the 1970s and 1980s, including "Last Dance," "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Bad Girls."

Summer was the first female artist to chart with back-to-back multi-platinum double albums.

She appeared in the 1978 film, "Thank God It's Friday," which won the best original song Oscar for "Last Dance." Summer also appeared twice on the 1990s hit TV show "Family Matters," playing Steve Urkel's Aunt Oona from Altoona. In 2011, she was a guest judge on music reality show "Platinum Hit."

Summer won five Grammy Awards and six American Music Awards, and charted three multi-platinum albums.

Musician Questlove of The Roots tweeted, "I know that the whole 'disco sucks' stuff left a bad taste in the mouths of some. But Summer's work was really a credible legacy."

Wrote Mario Lopez, "R.I.P Donna Summer ... I remember roller skating to hits like 'Last Dance' 'Hot Stuff' & 'Bad Girls.' Synonymous with the 70's."

She is survived by her husband, musician Bruce Sudano, three daughters, and four grandchildren.

MSNBC.com

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