18 May 2012

'Disco queen' Donna Summer dies

7:07 am on 18 May 2012

US singer Donna Summer, one of disco music's biggest stars, has died at the age of 63.

Famous for disco classics including I Feel Love and Love To Love You Baby, she also had a huge influence on the synth pop and dance music scenes.

Summer grew up in Boston and started singing in her church's gospel choir before starting to perform in stage musicals, the BBC reports.

Her work with the Italian synthesiser pioneer Giorgio Moroder led to her pop breakthrough with Love To Love You Baby in 1975.

She won five Grammy Awards and had a further 12 nominations, becoming the first black artist to win a Grammy in a rock category - taking best rock vocal performance for Hot Stuff in 1979.

Her influence stretched across musical boundaries, with Madonna, Whitney Houston and David Guetta among the artists who sampled her, while Bruce Springsteen wrote songs for her.

Stars including Kylie Minogue, Sir Elton John and Mary J Blige have paid tribute.

Summer, who was reported to have had cancer, had been living in Florida with her husband Bruce Sudano.

Her family said they were "at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy".