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Donna Summer, the queen of disco, dies at 63

May 17, 2012 |  9:52 am

Donnasummer

Donna Summer, the five-time Grammy Award winner whose soaring voice and sensual purrs helped break disco music into the mainstream in the 1970s, has died in Florida, according to a statement released by her family. Summer had been suffering from cancer, according to TMZ.

The statement, sent from her record label Universal Music, was released Thursday: "Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith. 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."

Although she continued to work, tour and record (last year she had been on television as a guest judge on the Bravo reality show "Platinum Hit"), Summer will best be remembered for a string of hits that merged New York disco with European club music, among them the sensual "I Feel Love" and "Love to Love You Baby," and later dance classics such as "On the Radio," "Bad Girls," and "She Works Hard for the Money."

Read more: Donna Summer's voice soared through disco and beyond

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-- Randall Roberts

Photo: Donna Summer at a 2009 performance in Berlin. Credit: Soeren Stache / EPA

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