Disco-era R&B singer Donna Summer succumbed to her battle with cancer on May 17.
"Early this morning, we lost Donna Summer Sudano, a woman of many gifts, the greatest being her faith," said a statement from Universal Music, Summer's record label. "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."
Summer, 63, was born on Dec. 31, 1948 in Boston. She achieved her first bit of entertainment success when she starred in the musical, "Hair," in Germany. From there, she began singing in other musicals and performed in different groups.
However it wasn't until 1975 that Summer would find success on the charts as the suggestive "Love to Love You" reached Top Five on the charts in the United Kingdom. By 1976, the song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
In 1978, Summer released her first critically acclaimed single as "Last Dance," a song on the soundtrack of "Thank God It's Friday," won a Grammy and its writer, Paul Jabara won an Academy Award for composition.
Summer's next album, "Bad Girls" would spawn two No. 1 hits in "Hot Stuff" and "Bad Girls" – winning her another Grammy.
The 1980's were less kind to Summer's career as her 1983 album, "She Works Hard for the Money," was the only album that achieved commercial success.
Overall, Summer won five Grammy's in her career. She is survived by her husband, Bruce Sudano, their daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda, and Summer's daughter from a previous marriage, Mimi.
(Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper)