Legendary disco diva Donna Summer died Wednesday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer, TMZ is reporting. She was 63.
According to the website, Summer — who tried to keep her illness under wraps — died in Florida early this morning. Entertainment Tonight reports that the singer was diagnosed with lung cancer 10 months ago but only chose to tell her immediate family, keeping it secret from the public.
Summer shot to fame in 1975 with the release of her first hit single, “Love to Love You Baby,” which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Thus began a career that defined the ’70s disco era, and would continue to prosper through the ’80s and ’90s.
With subsequent hits including “I Feel Love” and her first No. 1 smash, “MacArthur Park,” Summer became the quintessential disco queen, a title that would last up until her death, in 2012. Many of the era’s most successful songs were recorded by Summer herself, including “Hot Stuff” and “Last Dance,” both of which were featured on her uber-successful CD, “Bad Girls.” (The title track shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, in 1979.)
While many disco stars’ careers died when the ’80s rolled around, Summer continued to prosper thanks to such hits as “On the Radio,” “She Works Hard for the Money” and her last top 10 hit, “This Time I Know It’s For Real.”
Though Summer’s career never reached the same heights in the ’90s and ’00s, she continued to dominate the US Dance charts. Her last single, being “To Paris With Love,” in 2010.
A five-time Grammy winner, Summer married Bruce Sudano, in 1980. She is survived by her daughters.
Summer will be laid to rest on Monday, May 21 in Nashville, TN, Entertainment Tonight is reporting.