Facts about Donna Summer

Donna Summer died at 63 years old
Died: May 17, 2012 (cancer)
Best known as:  The Queen of Disco who did "I Feel Love" and "Last Dance"

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Donna Summer Biography

Name at birth: LaDonna Adrian Gaines

Despite a successful career that lasted over three decades, singer Donna Summer was best known as “The Queen of Disco” thanks to her dancable 1970s pop hits like “Hot Stuff” and “I Feel Love.”

Donna Summer grew up in Boston and began singing professionally in the late 1960s. But she found her first success in musical theater in Germany. There she met producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, who helped her craft “Love to Love You Baby,” a 17-minute track of electronic beats and sexy moans that became one of the first big hits of the disco era.

Summer went on to have consecutive platinum albums and top-charted hits, including “I Feel Love,” “Bad Girls,” “Hot Stuff,” “Last Dance” and a remake of the 1960s hit “MacArthur Park.” Her career stayed solid after the popularity of disco waned, and Summer proved herself as a recording artist and performer in pop, rock and R&B, even though she had occasional dry spells.

During the 1990s she moved to Nashville and wrote songs for the likes of Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire, than had another dance hit with 1997’s “Carry On,” another collaboration with Moroder that brought Summer her fifth Grammy award. She continued to produce dance hits with her last album, Crayons (2008), and in 2010 charted once again with the single “To Paris With Love.”

Donna Summer continued to tour and perform until 2012, when she died from cancer. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Extra credit

Donna Summer was the first recording artist to have three consecutive number one double albums: Live and More (1978), Bad Girls (1979) and On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I and II (1980).


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