"The Queen of Disco", LaDonna Adrian Gaines, dies of lung cancer at 63.
And even if she is firmly associated with the disco era of the 1970's her career continued after that. She had the voice and talent to keep on going.
Disco was - and is - a type of popular music that never stood very high in favor with critics the "serious music fan". When Donna released Crayons in 2008 - her first studio album in 17 years - she said:
"I do not think they made fun of my music as much as they made fun of some of the music that maybe came as a result of that whole genre. But I do think in the course of time it is nice to reestablish something and to say, 'Okay, this stood the test of time ...' I have nothing to prove to anyone. I just get out there and do my best, and those who love it, great. and those who do not, they 'll move on to something else. "
Her work with producer/composer Giorgio Moroder influenced countless other artists, disco and beyond. What few know is that she co-wrote a lot of her hits.
As an example I Feel Love that was totally new, exciting and like nothing you'd heard before when it was released in 1977:
And here's how a live band tries to play that sythesizer-heavy song on The Midnight Special in 1978:
Oh! And flirting with that old disco sound on her latest release; To Paris With Love, that made #1 on the dance charts in 2010:
Bonus! A short but sweet piano and vocals verson of Let It Be with Jools Holland on BBC:
"Donna Summer's disco was as radical as punk"
"Donna Summer: Is there life after disco?" (1978 article/interview)