Donna Summer: Disco Queen

The title, 'Disco Queen' was not used lightly with Donna Summer. She was one of the very few disco performers to enjoy a measure of career longevity, and her consistent chart success was rivaled in the disco world only by the Bee Gees.

An extremely talented vocalist, Summer was trained as a powerful gospel singer, like many of her contemporaries, but the major thing that set her apart from the crowd was outstanding Donna's songwriting ability. Her choice of talented collaborators, including producers/songwriters Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, resulted in a steady stream of high-quality material. Few singers could match Donna's sultry, inhibition-free eroticism that she brought to many of her best recordings, singlehandedly seeming to embody the spirit of the disco era perfectly. It was this overall package that made Summer the ultimate disco diva and one of the few whose star power was even bigger than the music.

Tragically passing away at just 63, Donna Summer's lengthy battle with cancer came to an end yesterday morning (Thursday 17th) in Florida. She is survived by her husband, singer and producer Bruce Sudano, their daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda, and Summer’s daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.

Over her long-spanning career, Summer released a total of 17 studio albums, the most recent being 2008's Crayon's which was supported by an extensive world tour. Her achievements during her musical career were astounding, winning an impressive 5 Grammy Awards, plus a string of other prestigious accolades and awards.

The singer is perhaps most famous for her hit singles, I Feel Love, Hot Stuff and Love To Love You Baby, which was famed for its racy introduction and reached number 5 in the UK. An extended version of the track also paved the way for her US breakthrough, scoring a number two hit while her 1976 album of the same name sold over a million copies. However, Summer's first solo album was released in 1974 and in 1977 finally saw the number one spot with the groundbreaking Giorgio Moroder-produced I Feel Love

Born in 1948 in Massachusetts, Summer began her illustrious career as a backing singer for the 1970's trio, Three Dog Night. As a teenager she was hugely inspired by Motown girl groups like The Supremes, and later on by soul-rocker, Janis Joplin. But in her peak, Summer's quick succession of releases in the 70s earned her the reputation of Disco's most successful artist, particularly after albums like 1977's I Remember Yesterday, and that, of course, is how we shall continue to remember her.