The singer, dubbed the Queen of Disco, had taken time out from the music industry to focus on developing her painting hobby but she was reported to be working on a new album at the time of her death. She apparently tried to hide the extent of her illness until the album was completed.
She was in Florida at the time of her death.
Five-time Grammy winner Donna Summer rose to super-stardom in the 1970s with her hits “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “Love To Love You Baby” and “Bad Girls.”
Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines, she was one of seven children. She was born and raised in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, living on the first floor of a three-decker home. She moved to Austria in 1971, where she met and fell in love with actor Helmuth Sommer while the two were acting in ‘Godspell’. The couple married in 1973, the same year that Donna gave birth to her first child, daughter Mimi Sommer.
In 1975, the couple divorced but Donna took her husband’s last name, translated to English, as her stage name. Donna Summer came into being.
In 1978, while working on the hit track, “Heaven Knows” Summer met Bruce Sudano and they soon began dating. The couple married on July 16, 1980 and a year later, Summer gave birth to another daughter Brooklyn Sudano, named after Sudano’s group, and later another daughter, Amanda. Brooklyn starred in the hit ABC production ‘My Wife and Kids.’
In 1994, Summer and her family moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, where she took time out from show business to focus on painting, a hobby she began in 1985.
Her husband and Brooklyn and Amanda survive her, as well as a third daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.