Oh, Donna. A wonderful voice, persona and a legitimate stamp that was applied to the disco era. She took it to the next level, and helped pave the way for a driving pop sound in the 1980s.
Donna Summer had been suffering from cancer, undergoing treatment and working on a new album. In fact, she was very quiet about her fight with the disease, because she didn’t want the public to know about her struggles while she remained focused on making music. Though industry professionals suggested that she looked like she was responding well to treatment, it seems that the extent of the disease was dire. Summer passed away this morning–she was 63 years old.
Some of Summer’s biggest hits included “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls” and the song that launched her into the spotlight, even snagging an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song, “Last Dance.” That particular song can be heard, and Donna can be seen performing it in the disco classic, Thank God it’s Friday. If you’ve never seen it–you must see it. It is everything so bad in a movie that it’s so good.
Summer went on to enjoy commercial success in the 1980s with hits like “She Works Hard for the Money.” She was a blend of old school R&B, soul, a few elements of funk, yet wrapped neatly in a driving disco beat.