Donna Summer is dead
Los Angeles (CNN) — Donna Summer, the “Queen of Disco” whose hits included Hot Stuff, Bad Girls, Love to Love You Baby and She Works Hard for the Money, has died, a representative said today. She was 63.
There was no immediate information about the cause of death.
Summer first rose to fame the mid-’70s, thanks to Love to Love You Baby. The song, with Summer’s whispered vocals and orgasmic groans supported by heavily synthesized backing tracks, helped define the mid-’70s disco trend and hit No. 2 in 1976. Summer followed the song with such hits as I Feel Love, Last Dance and a disco-fied version of the Richard Harris hit MacArthur Park,” which outdid Harris’ version by hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. It was Summer’s first of four chart-toppers.
But with her 1979 album Bad Girls, Summer broke out of the disco mold as the genre, which had become renewed by the success of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, was feeling a backlash. Bad Girls demonstrated Summer’s vocal and stylistic range and produced two No. 1 hits, Hot Stuff and Bad Girls, as well as a Top 10 ballad, Dim All the Lights.
However, Summer had some trouble adjusting to the changing times. Her next album, The Wanderer, went for more of a rock feel. It produced a Top 10 hit in the title track but fared relatively poorly on the charts — especially after the success of Bad Girls, a double album that spent five weeks at No. 1.
It wasn’t until 1983’s She Works Hard for the Money which became a ubiquitous video as well as a big radio hit, that Summer’s fame approached its late ’70s zenith.