Donna Summer, 1948–2012

GRAMMY-winning artist dies at 63
  • Photo: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images
    Donna Summer
May 17, 2012 -- 10:43 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Donna Summer died May 17 following a battle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andre Gaines in Boston, Summer was considered the Queen of Disco. Summer released her U.S. debut, 1975's Love To Love You Baby, which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200 and spawned a No. 2 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the title track. A Love Trilogy was released in 1976, followed by Four Seasons Of Love (1976), I Remember Yesterday (1977), and Once Upon A Time… (1977), all of which peaked in the Top 40. In 1978 Summer appeared in the disco-themed comedy film Thank God It's Friday. The film yielded the hit single "Last Dance," which earned Summer her first GRAMMY for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Bad Girls was released in 1979, peaking at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and earning Summer a GRAMMY nomination for Album Of The Year. The album produced two No. 1 hits, the title track and "Hot Stuff," the latter of which earned Summer a second GRAMMY for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. Summer continued to release albums throughout the '80s and '90s, including the Top 10 hit She Works Hard For The Money in 1983. Summer's last GRAMMY came in 1997 for Best Dance Recording for "Carry On." Her final studio album was 2008's Crayons, which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200.

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